Aerial view of the Hawthorne Lane Bridge - still from video report 

Contractor Johnson Brothers Corporation (JBC) won a 2016 bid to replace the Hawthorne Lane Bridge over Independence Boulevard in Charlotte. Project aims included making the bridge streetcar-accessible and renovating its other infrastructure.

The bridge closed in July 2017 to start demolition and rebuilding as part of the US$150 million CityLYNX Gold Line project. The closure was supposed to last for 20 months, but multiple setbacks delayed it for years. JBC crews had to stop work in 2019 when Charlotte City said the contractor ordered the wrong size girders. JBC's US$115 million lawsuit argues the issue occurred due to client errors. According to the lawsuit, “The city’s provided design included numerous errors, omissions and discrepancies.”

JBC claims it offered alternative solutions to complete the bridge with the original materials, and says the city disregarded them and refused to analyse their time and cost-effective solution, mandating instead a full ‘remove and replace’ option. The lawsuit also alleges the contractor “encountered massive alterations to the original plans and specifications and major changes to the contracted scope of work” that were “materially and drastically changing (to) the character and scope of the project as represented by the city at the time of bid.” 

Despite the delays, the new Hawthorne Lane Bridge opened in December 2020.

The new Hawthorne Lane Bridge in use - still from video report