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Suit filed over Cline Avenue bridge demolition by Walsh

A sectiCline Avenue bridge rests ground after it was demolished with explosives East Chicago Ind. early Saturday February 12 2011.

A section of the Cline Avenue bridge rests on the ground after it was demolished with explosives in East Chicago, Ind., early Saturday, February 12, 2011. | File photo

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Updated: April 20, 2014 6:42AM



The company in charge of tearing down the Cline Avenue bridge over the Indiana Harbor Canal says one of its subcontractors is responsible for more than $2 million in damages to the canal when portions of the bridge fell into the water.

Walsh Construction filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond against Chicago Explosive Services and PMG Industrial.

Representatives of the two companies could not be reached for comment.

Walsh Construction hired Chicago Explosive Services in October 2012 to blow up two sections of the Cline Avenue bridge over the canal, and the contract stipulated that CES would make sure that the bridge pieces fell onto land rather than into the canal, according to the lawsuit. It says CES started the blasting work in December 2012 with the help of PMG, but the bridge sections fell into the canal.

The falling bridge damaged two piers and caused the canal to be closed for some time, meaning other businesses couldn’t use it, the suit says.

The Indiana Department of Transportation held Walsh responsible for repairing the damage, which cost the company about $2 million, and one of the affected businesses, Kokosing Construction Co., sued Walsh for lost business totaling $67,746, according to the suit.

It contends that CES breached its contract with Walsh, including an agreement for the subcontractor to buy a $5 million insurance policy for its blasting work that CES never acquired.

The northern portion of Cline Avenue, which was a long bridge, closed in 2009 after the state found it to be unsafe. A new bridge that will charge tolls is being built at a cost of $150 million and is scheduled to be done by 2016.



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