Boone Construction Company files lawsuit against City of Trenton regarding replacement of 17th Street bridge

A gavel and a name plate with the engraving Lawsuit

Boone Construction Company of Columbia has filed a petition against the City of Trenton related to work on the 17th Street Bridge. The petition involves five counts including breach of contract, breach of warranty ex contractu, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, and damages and costs pursuant to the Missouri Public Prompt Payment Act.

Boone requests the court enter judgment in its favor and against the city for the principal amount of $849,447.73 plus pre-judgment interest, post-judgment interest, attorney fees and costs, and any other relief the court deems just. The $849,447.73 is the amount the company claims it suffered in damages as a direct cause of the city’s breaches. The company also claims it suffered damages of $240,306.80 related to the city making a positive representation of a material fact, in that the subsurface conditions at the location of Bent 3 and the designed location for temporary shoring would consist of clay, and Boone would not encounter a rock wall or other rock obstruction. That representation was false.

The petition says the City of Trenton issued an invitation for bids in the summer of 2019 seeking a contractor to replace the bridge and approach pavement on 17th Street over an active Union Pacific Railroad line. The city hired Olsson Engineering to design the project. The engineer hired a geotechnical firm, TSi Geotechnical, to perform that type of work.

Boone submitted its bid of $2,339,736.75 for construction on the project in reliance on the borings and other information provided by the city and the city’s engineer. Boone was the low bidder, was awarded the project, and entered into a contract with the city.

The petition notes that, after the city issued six change orders, adjusting for overruns and underruns in quantities, the final contract amount was $2,253,466.28. The city has only paid the company $1,644,325.35 and allegedly failed and refused to pay the undisputed contract balance of $609,140.93 and additional costs of $240,306.80, which Boone incurred as a result of the differing site condition.

The petition alleges the city breached the contract by failing to issue a change order to Boone to address the differing site condition as required by the contract, failing to conduct a geotechnical subsurface investigation to determine the nature and extent of the differing site condition, and failing to provide an engineered solution and direction to the construction company to address the differing site condition while protecting the Union Pacific Railroad’s tracks. The city also allegedly breached the contract by failing to compensate Boone for the additional costs it incurred to address the differing site condition, failing to grant Boone additional contract time and to extend the project completion dates, and failing to timely pay Boone for the undisputed contract amounts for the base scope of the work.

The petition says Boone encountered a differing site condition on the project that made it impossible for the company to replace the bridge without risking damage to the railroad’s tracks unless additional investigation and excavation work was done. The company performed the additional work as well as the base scope of the work, and the company expected it would be paid for that work. The petition alleges the City of Trenton benefited from Boone’s work and did not timely remit payment to the company for the work performed.

The 17th Street Bridge in Trenton was reopened to traffic in July.