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Anchorage reaches settlement with key contractor in port lawsuit

  • Author: Devin Kelly
  • Updated: December 2, 2017
  • Published January 26, 2017

A key contractor in the botched Port of Anchorage expansion project has settled with the Municipality of Anchorage for $3.75 million, clearing what one city attorney described as a roadblock to other settlements in the case.

Integrated Concepts and Research Corp., a subsidiary of the Virginia-based engineering and technical services corporation VSE Corp., filed a settlement notice Thursday in U.S. District Court.

ICRC was the construction project manager in the expansion project, which cost more than $300 million and left Anchorage with a dock that couldn't be used.

This is the fourth settlement reached in the port litigation, but ICRC is at the center of the web of contractors.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration contracted with ICRC as the project manager, which then procured the contracts for all the construction and design companies that worked on the project, said Robert Owens, assistant Anchorage city attorney.  

Thursday's settlement amount is less than others because ICRC had very few assets, Owens said.

He also indicated that because the contracts ICRC signed contained indemnity obligations, the settlement makes it far easier for the city to settle with the other contractors.

"I think there's a fair chance that overall resolution with everybody is imminent," Owens said.

The agreements are being structured so parties don't admit fault, Owens said. The city began filing lawsuits seeking damages in 2013 from project designers and managers.

The city is still negotiating with GeoEngineers Inc., a designer on the port project; PND Engineers Inc., the port designer; and CH2M Hill Alaska Inc., for work completed by Veco Corp., a company it acquired in 2007.

Max Garner, an attorney with the Anchorage firm Birch, Horton, Bittner and Cherot, who filed the settlement notice on behalf of ICRC, declined to comment Thursday, saying the corporation does not typically comment on litigation.

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