Santa Ana: OC Streetcar Contractor Sues OCTA For Over $50 Million Dollars

File Photo by County News Service

03.04.2022 | 9:00 AM | SANTA ANA – The contractor behind the OC Streetcar Project is suing the Orange County Transportation Authority seeking over $50 million dollars, according to a lawsuit filed Friday.

The lawsuit filed by Walsh Construction claims that the OCTA violated numerous provisions of a Nov. 19, 2018 contract valued at over $220 million dollars that provided for construction of a 4.15 mile streetcar project in Santa Ana and Garden Grove

Specifically Walsh alleges the OCTA failed to provide a buildable plan for the project, misrepresented their ownership or authority of properties where the project was to be built, and failed to coordinate the project with owners of properties surrounding the project.

Those failures and misrepresentations began from the get-go when the OCTA published bid documents that materially differed from reality and continued as a result of their failure to complete designing the project before entering into a contract.

The lawsuit further claims that the OCTA failed to pay Walsh under the contract and withheld funds while failing to participate in a mediation process which was required by the contract.

The suit seeks at least $50 million dollars in damages as a result of increased costs associated with the project including time spent standing by or working in excess of the agreed upon terms.

A different lawsuit against both Walsh and OCTA was filed Feb. 23, 2022 by a body shop adjacent to the project claiming that dust from the construction was contaminating their paint booths. That lawsuit appears to bolster claims by Walsh that OCTA failed to coordinate the project with the owners of properties surrounding the project.

In another move acknowledging the pain brought by the project to local businesses the Santa Ana City Council committed at least $1.5 million dollars during a Mar. 1, 2022 meeting to bail out a number of merchants along Fourth Street where the project had blocked pedestrian and vehicle access.

Eligible Fourth Street businesses can receive up to $10,000 through the city although there was no word on any bailouts for businesses impacted by the project elsewhere in the city.

The streetcar projected, described by OCTA as “a new horizon of mobility,” is expected to debut sometime in 2024.

County News Service’s Courthouse News Reports are based on filings available through the Orange County Superior Court’s Media Access Portal. These reports are based on filings made by one party and only reflect allegations and claims made by one side of a lawsuit. Such filings are often the first step in litigation and do not reflect an order or finding of the Court. 

Miles Madison

Miles started reporting breaking news in 2015 and has been providing high-quality news video and timely reports from the Orange County area ever since. Combining his experience as a seasoned photojournalist, radio operator and sleuth, Miles provides unrivaled multimedia news reports.