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Friday, October 23, 2009

North County Transit District, AECOM agree to settle claims

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The North County Transit District reached an agreement with AECOM (formerly DMJM+Harris) to settle all claims arising from the design services performed by DMJM+Harris for the SPRINTER light rail project in the San Diego area. The settlement allows each party to avoid future litigation regarding disputed claims. With this agreement, NCTD should complete the SPRINTER project well within its federally approved budget of $484.2 million.

"This settlement agreement will allow NCTD's board, management and staff to focus on providing the best possible transportation services to its North County customers rather than spend considerable resources on potentially lengthy and expensive litigation," said Board Chairman Bob Campbell.

Beginning in 1995 NCTD entered into its first agreement with Frederic R. Harris, Inc., to provide preliminary engineering, environmental assessment and final design of the Oceanside-Escondido rail project. Frederic R. Harris, Inc. later merged to form DMJM+Harris. Additional agreements with NCTD on the SPRINTER followed, including work to design the complete SPRINTER light rail system including right-of-way improvements and environmental mitigation efforts. AECOM acquired DMJM+Harris in 2008.

The SPRINTER opened for passenger service in March 2008. Later in 2008 a dispute arose between NCTD and AECOM concerning compensation for services rendered on the large, complex multi-year infrastructure project.

As part of the terms of the agreement, NCTD will pay AECOM $2,000,000 for previously provided design services and AECOM shall pay NCTD $4,700,000 as a settlement for the District's claims regarding design issues impacting the SPRINTER.

NCTD serves more than 12 million passengers annually by providing public transportation within North San Diego County and via the COASTER to downtown San Diego.

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