North Carolina's Department of Transportation agreed to pay a contractor more than $13 million to settle a lawsuit over construction of the northern leg Interstate 485's extension.
The settlement, signed in May, pays the Skanska Corporation $13,475,000 to walk away from a lawsuit after a bitter battle over delays on the project that caused it to open almost three years late.
It started in 2003, when Skanska signed on to start work on the 5-mile stretch between Oakdale Road and Statesville Road that December.
According to the contract they signed, they promised to have the work finished in 1,200 days -- by March 15, 2007, or pay $10,000 in fines for every day they were late.
In November 2009, the project still wasn't finished and the fines would have been approaching $10 million.
But Skanska blamed the state, stating they had added work to the job and made changes that slowed them down and three years ago they filed a lawsuit, stating the state owed them and their subcontractors $29 million.
The agreement ends the lawsuit and the DOT said in a statement that it may save taxpayers over the long run because a trial could have been more costly.
Skanska declined to comment on the settlement Thursday.