Sammamish Landing’s dock is scheduled for repairs after the summer ends, per a recent settlement agreement regarding the alleged faulty design, construction and installation of the floating system, completed in 2013.
The lawsuit the city filed against three contractors in January 2015 ended this week with a $90,000 payout to the city, as well as, and at no cost to the city, the removal of the current cracked aluminum dock frame and the construction and installation of its replacement.
Completion of the dock is expected in time for the summer 2017 season, Deputy City Manager Jessi Bon said.
The city made some temporary, proactive repairs to the current dock after it discovered issues with its joints and frames in April 2014, Bon said.
“At no time were the docks unsafe for public use,” Bon said. “The safety of the public at Sammamish Landing Park remains our highest priority.”
As it is, the dock is open only during the summer season. The city has been closing the dock during the winter and during high winds.
The city originally chose to install the floating, segmented dock for year-round use. Ironically, as the waves and wind can create strain on the underbelly structure of the docks, the city may have to close the dock during poor weather, even after repairs are made.
It all depends, Bon said.
The 8.23 acre park, which the city began acquiring in 2001, is located along the eastern shoreline of Lake Sammamish in the northwest corner of city limits. The Sammamish City Council adopted the Sammamish Landing master plan in 2010, and the city began making improvements to the area thereafter.
In April 2014, city crews first discovered “a variety of design defects, other defects and deficiencies in the dock” that made it “not safe for public use,” according to court documents.
This discovery came nearly a year after contractors — Lakeshore Marine Construction Inc. and its subcontractor Marine Co. Inc. dba HDB Marine — completed the floating dock system project in May 2013.
The main issue, the cracked frame, bore the potential to create a “pinch point” on the dock’s deck, which could open wide enough to pinch feet and hands, Bon said.
The city used 5- to 6-inch wide rubber bands to wrap around these areas where the floating dock segments could pull apart, Bon said.
The city initially contracted with Reid Middleton Inc. in 2011/2012 for the dock design plans, which Lakeshore and HDB Marine were to follow during construction and installation.
The entire project, lumped together with improvements to the park’s pocket beach, totalled more than $518,000. The docks themselves cost roughly $350,000, according city spokesperson Tim Larson.
The city made attempts to contact the three responsible contracting companies before filing the lawsuit, to no avail, according to court documents.
After discovering the failures in the dock’s aluminum frames and joints, the city’s attorney, as part of the legal action, consulted with CLE Engineering to assess the dock and recommend a redesign for the docks to “better withstand the breaking wave action that can occur during storm events,” Bon said.
The city paid CLE nearly $46,000 for its design work and, per the settlement agreement, Lakeshore and HDB contractors will use these plans when constructing and installing the new frame and hinges.
“The key elements of the redesign include strengthening of the metal frames that hold the dock floats, and substantially upgrading the hinges that hold the float panels together,” Bon said.
After about a year in litigation, the city and three alleged at-fault contractors agreed to settle to “avoid the costs and uncertainties attendant upon further litigation,” according to the settlement agreement.
Reid Middleton agreed to pay $90,000 in the settlement within 30 days of the signed agreement.