Year-in-Review: City sued designer of Constant’s Wharf bulkhead

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 31, 2004

The city’s $22 million hotel project, while finally nearing completion, continued to spark some controversy in 2004 due to a lawsuit filed by the city against the designer of the original, failed bulkhead.

At a cost of $3.1 million, the city had the original bulkhead torn down and rebuilt, beginning in 2002. In October, the city filed a $4.5 million law suit against Landmark Design Group to try to recoup the cost.

The suit alleges that Landmark, a Virginia Beach-based engineering firm, used an untested design in building the structure along the Nansemond River.

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After being told of the bulkhead’s failure, Landmark advised the city for the first time that the &uot;the design was novel, untested and unorthodox,&uot; according to the suit.

The lawsuit also accused both Landmark and the company it contracted with, Millennium Engineering, of choosing not to inform the city of the problem after realizing the bulkhead design was defective.

&uot;Landmark elected to proceed with the installation in order to avoid redesign costs that it was contractually obligated to bear,&uot; according to the suit.

The city is also dealing with another lawsuit related to flawed bulkhead.

Last year, the Virginia Beach-based Virginia Marines Structures, the company that built the first bulkhead, filed a suit against the city last year after it was fired from the project.

According to court documents, the city and Virginia Marine were

involved in mediation and the case was scheduled to go to court Jan. 10, unless the issues have been resolved.