Fort Worth contractor Thos. S. Byrne is suing fellow Cowtown firm Carter & Burgess over mistakes made before the new Skylink train opened at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
The train's April 21 debut was delayed about a month because of the problems.
Byrne is seeking $900,000 because of costs it incurred from having to twice fix problems created by Carter & Burgess, according to the original petition filed last week. Carter & Burgess has not responded to the suit, and officials could not be reached for comment. Airport officials declined to comment.
The problem centers on small metal joints that were installed in the train's track.
The Skylink train runs on a 4.8-mile track that sits on a 50-foot-tall concrete bridge. The bridge was built by connecting nearly 100 concrete beams. Metal joints were installed so the train's wheels would smoothly roll across the 3-inch gap between beams.
Byrne was hired to design and build the concrete bridge. It hired Carter & Burgess in March 2002 for engineering work related to the bridge, or "guideway," as it's called in the suit.
Some of that work included designing the metal joints that fill the gap, allowing the bridge to expand and contract in different weather.
But the joints failed "in a number of locations" while the Skylink trains were being tested Nov. 30, 2004, according to the suit. The failures damaged the bridge, court documents say.
The next month, Carter & Burgess redesigned the joint covers, and Byrne reinstalled them and fixed the damage to the bridge. The joints failed again, according to the suit.
The joints were again redesigned by Carter & Burgess in February, court documents said, and testing proved successful in March.
"During that period, there have been no more failures in the expansion joints or expansion joint covers and no more deterioration to the concrete guideway surface," Byrne said in court documents.
Byrne, whose outside attorney Henry Steck declined to comment, said in the court filings that it has received a claim from Bombardier, the Canadian contractor ultimately responsible for getting the Skylink project together.
Bombardier is seeking an unspecified amount of "additional costs, expenses and damages" that Bombardier said it incurred from not being able to use the bridge to test the Skylink train, according to court documents.
Byrne says in the suit that if it's responsible for the additional costs to Bombardier, it's because of the Carter & Burgess design of the joints.
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