In a stunning decision in the showdown between Santa Clara County and the Turner Construction company over a delayed $300 million hospital project, the county kicked Turner off the project, took workers off the job and locked the gates at the San Jose site.
Officials say it’s another step in the “firing” process.
NBC Bay Area broke the story two weeks ago revealing that a crucial Santa Clara Valley Medical Center facility set to open on Sept. 19 was nowhere close to being finished. It led to frantic talks and a public fight over who was to blame for delays the county said was costing more than $100,000 a day in lost revenue.
With all the angry words, and accusations, many observers said they thought the project was too big to make a change now – especially between one of the biggest counties in the country and one of the biggest construction companies in the world. But the county has locked out Turner and all its workers, and the project has been halted.
At about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Santa Clara County posted a notice at the site, suspending all work on the $300 million building and barring Turner Construction crews from the premises, ending the company’s involvement with a project it started more than five years ago.
Two weeks ago, NBC Bay Area ran the first in a series of reports showing the 168-hospital bed facility was not ready for its scheduled opening. County officials acknowledged it was years from being ready. The two sides went behind closed doors to try to work out a new deal, but in the end, they could not resolve their differences.
“Work at the Bascom Avenue site has stopped as the county decides what to do next,” site supervisor Ken Rado said Friday.
Turner apparently has made a last-minute offer, which is being reviewed. A spokesman for Turner Construction, Larry Kamer, said earlier Friday the company was frustrated and disappointed with the county's attitude and reiterated Turner believes the county should share responsibility for the delays due to “mismanagement.”