Lawsuit claims Colorado Springs owes payment for work on Pikes Peak Summit Complex

Courtesy of twitter; @drivepikespeak
A photo of the Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center prior to the ribbon cutting on June 30, 2021.

A lawsuit against Colorado Springs claims the city has not paid for work to build the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex. At issue are extra costs incurred through construction delays.

GE Johnson filed the lawsuit on March 8 accusing the city of a breach of contract. The original agreement included $60,040,888 for construction of the summit complex, expected at the time to be finished by October 30, 2020. The project took eight months longer to complete than anticipated, opening in late June 2021.

According to the city, the new summit complex was funded by a capital fundraising campaign, enterprise funds specific to the project, and revenue bonds.

It's unclear exactly how much Colorado Springs owes the contractor or how much the cost increased from initial estimates. The city of Colorado Springs says it's paid nearly all of the initial cost estimate with $59,410,887.98 going to GE Johnson as of Wednesday, March 22. The city declined to comment further, citing active litigation.

According to the lawsuit, GE Johnson said the delays were out of the company's responsibility or control. That included a nine-week delay very early on while the city worked to execute a "memorandum of understanding" with the United States Forest Service regarding certain necessary permits.

The claim alleges that the delay started a domino effect of other setbacks, including a late overall start on the project, resulting in less time to work before winter weather set in. Other circumstances mentioned in the allegations include outdated information in a report about the geological conditions of the site and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Mayor John Suthers said the city "is appreciative of GE Johnson's willingness to take on the project."

"As is often the case in complex construction projects, there remain a few issues that prevent the City and GE Johnson from closing out the contract at this time," Suthers said.

Suthers said the city has been in conversations with GE Johnson to resolve the issues and suit.

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