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Dispute Over Northeast Extension Construction Project Could Go To Court

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Delays in a project to widen a portion of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, between the Lansdale and Mid-County exits, could wind up in court.

Turnpike Commission spokesman Carl DeFebo says some challenges cropped up since construction began in 2011 along a six-mile long construction zone.

They include building temporary supports needed to reinforce the existing travel lanes, which he characterizes as the heaviest-traveled, four-lane stretch of the turnpike in the Commonwealth.

Another impediment relates to finalizing a contract to rebuild a bridge that carries turnpike traffic above a rail line.

The Turnpike Commission and its contractor, Walsh Construction are pointing fingers at each other on who is responsible for the delays. It's likely to be litigated, because the contract stipulates that the contractor pay fines for each day of delay. The $151 million project was supposed to wind up next year, but now the projected completion date has been pushed back to late 2014.

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