The Northwest Territories government has settled a lawsuit that was launched by the former project manager and design advisor for the Deh Cho Bridge.

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Andrew Gamble, who was the Deh Cho Bridge's project manager, and former design advisor Jivko Jivkov filed a lawsuit against the N.W.T. government after they were removed from the project last year. ((CBC) )

Andrew Gamble and Jivko Jivkov claimed they had not been paid for a total of $1.3 million worth of work on the span across the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence, N.W.T.

Gamble and Jivkov both worked for the Deh Cho Bridge Corp. until last year, when the territorial government took over the troubled project from the private company.

In a news release issued Monday, government officials said the lawsuit was settled through mediation, but the terms of the settlement remain confidential.

"I can only say that it was well below the amount that was claimed, and these were monies that had been earned or where they had provided equity or a holdback," Transportation Department spokesman Earl Blacklock told CBC News.

"It relates directly to project expenses, and therefore it will be paid out [of] the project budget."

Won't affect bridge's budget, official says

Blacklock said the settlement will have very little impact on the bridge's budget, which is currently estimated at $182 million.

The money paid out in the settlement was included in the bridge's budget, he said.

The Deh Cho Bridge Corp. was established as part of an arrangement with the Northwest Territories government to build and operate the bridge.

The bridge, which remains under construction, will link Yellowknife and other North Slave communities to southern points year-round, eliminating the need for the current summer ferry and winter ice road.

But following a series of design flaws, contract disputes and other controversies that delayed work on the bridge — and inflated the project's costs — the N.W.T. government took over the project in February 2010.

Transportation officials say they expect the bridge to open in November. But federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser, who released her audit of the project earlier this month, said she does not believe the bridge will open on time or on budget.