Multnomah County to pay Ridgefield firm $871K in bridge dispute

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Multnomah County announced Wednesday it will pay $871,277 to Ridgefield-based Conway Construction Co. in a dispute over problems with the Morrison Bridge decking the company finished installing less than two years ago.

The legal settlement is part of the money the contractor demanded for extra time and work it put into replacing the decking in 2011 and 2012, after materials originally installed fell apart.

There are still problems with the four-lane drawbridge, which crosses the Willamette River between Southeast Portland and downtown, said Mike Pullen, a county spokesman. He said the bridge will be monitored until repairs can be made in 2014.

The settlement also required the county to place $314,175 in a reserve fund that neither the county nor Conway can access until the resolution of separate litigation to decide who is at fault for the bridge's problems.

While the settlement resolves the contractor's payment claims for additional work performed on the $4.2 million bridge replacement project, Pullen said the county has entered into existing litigation between the contractor and the fabricator of the decking material, Durham, N.C.-based ZellComp Inc. Conway Construction did not respond to an emailed request for comment.