Santa Clara County

Previously-Fired Turner Construction Among Contractors Considered to Resume Delayed South Bay Hospital Project

Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith on Tuesday acknowledged talks to resume a long-delayed and still unfinished $300 million hospital project are going on with several contractors.

One of the contractors in talks with the county include Turner Construction, which was blamed for the delays and eventually kicked off the project in September.

"We wouldn't bring Turner back in unless there was an ability to get rid of litigation and to be sure that we had a time schedule that worked," Smith said.

Turner Construction did not return phone calls from NBC Bay Area on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, county leaders are reviewing an evaluation of the hospital project at Valley Medical Center.

The assessment report put together by the Boldt Company shows it could take about $126 million and another year of work to get the Valley Medical Center project up and running.

In a story NBC Bay Area broke in August, the county planned to open a 370,000-square-foot facility that included a 168-hospital bed building in 2012 built by Turner Construction.

The NBC Bay Area investigation revealed the project had been delayed at least five times before county officials acknowledged the project would still not ready by a publicly announced September 2015 deadline.

The collapse of the September deadline led to a heated public dispute between the county and Turner Construction.

The county claimed Turner mismanaged the project and said the construction company was more interested in completing another, 'more high profile' project, the 49ers' Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

Turner officials adamantly denied the company allocated less resources to the hospital project and accused the county of numerous sudden design changes that delayed construction.

The two sides met behind closed doors but could not resolve the situation and the county fired Turner and barred its crews from the site.

Boldt was hired by the county to assess the project.

NBC Bay Area examined the draft report on Monday.

The report indicates, among other things, the cost to complete the project could range from around $108.4 million to $126 million.

The report cites numerous factors that could affect the construction timetable and actual opening of the facility, but estimated it could be operational around February or April of 2017.

One major factor is when a construction company will be picked to resume the project.

Although the report does not designate responsibility or blame, it recommends rebuilding trust between designers, subcontractors and county project management personnel.

It also recommends a "core project management team' and a "senior leadership team" be assembled.

Boldt stated the theme of moving forward should be "go slow to go fast."

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