Federal Courthouse Repairs: Worse Than Estimated

Last month, Daily RFT spoke to Jim Woodward the man in charge of operations for the largest federal courthouse in the nation -- the 29-story Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse (right). At the time, Woodward was working with contractors to determine the cost to repair flood damage after a pipe on the 17th floor came loose in August, sending an estimated 8,000 gallons of water cascading through the building. Today seven of the building's sixteen courtrooms are out of operation with excessive water damage.

In September, Woodward estimated the costs to clean up and fix the mess could reach $6 million. Turns out that was a conservative guess. Yesterday the federal government's General Services Administration, which owns the building, announced that the bill will be closer to $10 million to repair the damage.

A contractor fired during the construction of the building in the late 1990s is being blamed for improperly installing the pipe. It's unclear now whether the GSA will seek legal action against the construction company.