Airport Parkway bridge lawsuit: WSP Canada files statement of defence

The designer of the Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge has filed its statement of defence after the City of Ottawa sued WSP Canada, Inc., for $4.6 million, blaming the company for three years of delays.

Pedestrian bridge opened Nov. 29, 2014 after three years of delays; city blamed designer

The company responsible for designing the Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge says it warned the city about the contractor tasked with completing the project, and claims city officials unfairly targeted it as a scapegoat.

The pedestrian bridge opened on Nov. 29 — three years late and about $4 million over budget - and City of Ottawa officials have pointed the finger at WSP Canada, formerly known as Genivar, for the delays.

The Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge, which was delayed several times, finally opened on Nov. 29, 2014. (Stu Mills/CBC)
In the summer, the City of Ottawa filed a $4.6-million lawsuit against WSP Canada, Inc., for the design of the failed Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge, asking for all costs resulting from the original bridge design.

But on Nov. 7, WSP Canada filed its statement of defence where it pointed the finger back at city officials and other companies involved in the pedestrian bridge.

The document claims Genivar warned the city about the general contractor lacking “experience and skill” necessary to finish the project. It also goes on to say the city delayed the project but never altered the timelines accordingly.

The company’s statement of defence also alleges the city sought “someone to blame” when the project became a "political embarrassment."

WSP Canada maintains there were no issues with the bridge design and it denies any responsibility for the delays, the document reads. The company wants the city’s lawsuit dismissed.