March 8 2019 10:29 AM

The city’s complaint alleges the fields turn into a swamp when it rains or snows.

Four years ago, the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, spent $600,000 to transform a three-acre lot into a soccer field and playground, according to an article in the Eagle-Tribune. But, according to the city’s complaint to the company that insured the construction, the park turns into a swamp when it rains or snows.

According to the complaint, the field is improperly graded, the topsoil layer is too thin and the material below has compacted, making a soggy, muddy mess of the field in bad weather. The Boston-based company, Western Surety Co., insured the work, which was done by Quirk Construction of Georgetown, Massachusetts.

The city alleges that the grass over the soccer field won't grow because the field was improperly seeded, and the stormwater that runs off the field has carved four-inch ruts into the ground stone path that runs along the field's edge. The city also states that Japanese knotweed, an aggressive invasive plant, has overrun parts of the park because Quirk Construction failed to do the maintenance the contract requires.

Theodore Gryfinski, a claims consultant for Western Surety, said in a letter to the city that Quirk Construction believes it has performed “according to the plans and specifications in the drawings and under the contract.” Gryfinski said the city should have installed a drain between the field and the path and said the city has failed to properly maintain the park.

City Attorney Raquel Ruano said the city is preparing to sue Quirk and Western Surety. In August 2017, the City Council voted to spend $150,000 to repair the soccer field on the condition that Rivera pursue Western Surety and Quirk Construction for reimbursement.

According to the article, another contractor for the city is designing repairs, which may include removing and rebuilding the soccer field and path. It was not stated what the work would cost or when it would begin.