Arizona contractor files suit against Scottsdale over construction dispute

Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (file photo)

Legal action between the city of Scottsdale and Arizona contractor, SDB Inc., is moving forward for alleged unfinished and unsafe work on the Shea Tunnel Access Shared Use Pathway Shea Boulevard to CAP Canal Project.

The Scottsdale City Council on Dec. 11, approved a resolution authorizing full participation by the city in this matter in Maricopa County Superior Court. The resolution was approved on consent, at City Hall, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

Following City Council’s June 21, 2016, approval of the project, URS — now AECOM — was retained to provide engineering design services for the proposed path extension, according to a city staff report.

AECOM provided engineered plans to extend the path from 124th Street and Shea Boulevard to 124th Street and the Central Arizona Project canal, which included creating a connection to a previously constructed but unused tunnel beneath Shea Boulevard near 124th Street.

Based on the plans, the city solicited bids from contractors interested in completing the path construction as planned. SDB Inc. was awarded the contract as the lowest bidder, the city staff report states, and work began around January 2017. The June 21, 2016, City Council report states SDB’s bid was $1,641,027.15.

As work progressed city personnel observed issues related to the construction of a Gabion Wall by the contractor, and the city declined to accept the wall as constructed because it does not meet the plans and specifications, the city staff report states. Additionally, it poses a safety hazard, city officials say.

A lawsuit has now been filed by SDB Inc. against the city seeking damages.

The city believes it will need to hire a new contractor to remove the existing wall and properly construct a new one in its place, the city staff report states, and the city is in the process of obtaining new engineering specifications for that purpose.

Additionally, the city believes it will likely be forced to undergo additional costs beyond the anticipated contract price.

“This gives rise to a claim for damages for the city against SDB necessitating a counterclaim in the subject litigation,” the city staff report penned by City Attorney Bruce Washburn states. “In addition, SDB provided a performance bond which was issued by Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. Finally, SDB has asserted allegations that the designs provided by AECOM were defective.”

SDB Inc. serves nine states, according to its website, including Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona. It’s corporate headquarters is in Tempe.

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at or can be followed on Twitter at

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