• Hull seawall project in limbo over dispute with contractor

    By: Robert Goulston

    Updated:

    HULL, Mass. -- A seawall overhaul project in Hull intended to protect the coastal area from future storms has rolled to an abrupt halt.

    A legal dispute between the town and the contractor, RC&D, a Rhode Island-based company, has left the new seawall unfinished and the neighborhood vulnerable to coastal storms.

    Jim O'Sullivan said his Hull home has been in his family for decades with five generations enjoying it until this year. "It's like a bombed out war zone. That's what my kids call it."

    Last week, the town manager said in an email that the contractor was "ceasing their project activity" and "leaving the job site."

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    "RC&D's bond requires the bonding company to arrange for completion of the project at the original contract price," the email said, noting "the Town recognizes and shares your frustration and we are doing all we can to resolve this matter favorably and as quickly as possible."

    Residents have been attempting to find out the reason behind the holdup, and the onslaught of nor'easters earlier this year was a reminder of how critical its completion is.

    Another Hull resident, Paul Lockhart, said significant debris from prior storms has washed over the unfinished wall. 

    "You can see where the seawall is not complete below, so now a major concern is you can have a weakening of the seawall underneath," Lockhart said.

    RC&D told Boston 25 News it was ready to finish the job. "We did not abandon the project. We had to go to the court system to address ongoing project issues. If the town would initiate a change order on the project plan, we will return to the site immediately to complete the work," the company said.

    Locals hope both sides will work it out rather than tying it up in court.

    The town says it is working with the insurance bond company to see if they will find someone to complete the work on the seawall.

    O'Sullivan just wants to see it fixed and add protection ahead of hurricane season. "Get everyone in the room and say, 'Hey guys how do we get it resolved? Let's get moving ahead,'" he said.

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