Pikes Peak summit builder GE Johnson accused by city of shoddy work

The City of Colorado Springs is countersuing the company that built a visitor center atop Pikes Peak, accusing it of doing shoddy work on a parking lot and wastewater system.

GE Johnson, which is based in Colorado Springs and also built its U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters, was paid $60 million to bulldoze a summit house on Pikes Peak and create the 38,000-square-foot Summit Complex at an elevation of 14,115 feet.

After three years of work, the complex opened in 2021 to much praise and fanfare.

“The architecture, the look, the convenience, the feel are world-class,” Gov. Jared Polis said at the grand opening, “and that’s important because this is a world-class site.”

But since then, GE Johnson and Colorado Springs have lobbed accusations back and forth.

On March 8, the company sued the city, claiming the latter has refused to reimburse it for work delays that were caused by the city’s slowness and the pandemic. GE Johnson said its contract requires it be paid for expenses related to delays that were not its fault.

“Despite having invested considerable time and effort, GE Johnson and the City of Colorado Springs have thus far been unable to resolve certain disputes that arose on the project,” the company said in a statement to BusinessDen last month.

Those disputes, still unresolved, have only multiplied since.

On April 13, the city countersued GE Johnson. It denied delaying the project, defended its decision not to pay GE Johnson extra, called the construction company’s lawsuit “frivolous and groundless,” and said the company should now pay the city’s legal fees.

It also accused GE Johnson of leaving behind construction defects atop the mountain.

“Since its installation by GE Johnson, the West Parking Lot of the project has experienced severe undulations,” the countersuit states. It alleges the undulations are due to “GEJ’s failure to perform according to the contract and acceptable construction methods.”

The city said repairs to the parking lot can’t begin until this summer and are “expected to exceed $449,100.” GE Johnson refuses to make those repairs, the city alleges.

The countersuit makes similar accusations about the Summit Center’s wastewater treatment system. Colorado Springs said it told GE Johnson at the end of 2021 that the system was not working properly but the company ignored that and has refused to make repairs. So, the city anticipates repairing the wastewater system itself “at a substantial cost.”

Laura Rinker, a spokeswoman for GE Johnson, said the company “is not offering an additional statement to the ongoing litigation with the City of Colorado Springs at this time.”

The city is represented by attorneys Ryan Klein and Blair Carter in the Colorado Springs office of Sherman & Howard, a Denver-based law firm.

GE Johnson is represented by attorneys Jeffrey George, Joseph Lambert and David Willner in the Colorado Springs office of Hogan Lovells, an international firm.

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This story was reported by our partner BusinessDen.

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