WIN Stadium roof: company seeks costs

The roof while being repaired.
The roof while being repaired.

The company in charge of building WIN Stadium's western grandstand is suing two companies in a bid to recover money it spent to repair the damaged roof.

In 2010 NSW Public Works accepted Lipman Pty Ltd's tender to construct the new western grandstand at WIN Stadium.

The same year NSW Public Works also engaged architects Allen Jack and Cottier to design the roof, with structural engineering consultants The Meinhardt Group forming part of their team.

Part of the $29 million grandstand's roof truss was in place for the Dragons home game against Manly, which was played on June 27, 2011, and it was completed for the match against the Roosters on August 14.

There were two more games at the stadium before the end of the season, the final match being against New Zealand on September 2.

Eighteen days later, on September 20, 2011, winds as strong as 90km/h caused the grandstand's roof to buckle.

The next day the Illawarra Mercury reported that bolts "thinner than an adult index finger" had snapped, causing the roof to buckle.

A NSW government report obtained by the Mercury this week under a freedom of information request confirmed this, stating that the cause of the roof failure was a number of bolts not strong enough to resist the wind on that afternoon.

As part of the rectification work, the entire grandstand roof was taken down in February 2012 to redesign the trusses.

The repair work on the roof was completed in time for the Dragons' first 2012 home game on June 15.

The government report said the contract with the NSW government identified Lipman as being responsible "to rectify any faults in the design and construction" of the grandstand.

All costs incurred since the roof buckled were met by Lipman, estimated to be at least $1 million.

Lipman's managing director David Moffat said yesterday his company had been pursuing court action to recover those costs.

"The proceedings are under way to recover the costs of the rectification work from the insurers," Mr Moffat said.

Lipman filed proceedings before the NSW Supreme Court against Allen Jack and Cottier and Meinhardt NSW in February last year.

Architects Allen Jack and Cottier have also filed a cross-claim against Lipman.

The matter is set down for direction in the Supreme Court on March 21.

Allen Jack and Cottier and Meinhardt NSW were also approached for comment but did not respond by deadline.


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