Tacoma boat owners claim bridge work damaged their boats

TACOMA, Wash. -- Frustrated boaters at one Tacoma marina claim construction work has severely damaged their boats.

The owners say the damage is coming from above, where Tacoma is just weeks away from finishing renovation of the Murray Morgan Bridge.

A construction mistake caused thousands of little metal slivers to land on some of the boats below, which has caused rust to develop.

Jason Brinar lives full-time on his boat with his wife and two kids.

"I was thoroughly disgusted," Brinar said. "This is our home."

He is one of at least two dozen boat owners at the marina who claim the bridge work as caused serious damage. Brinar said he shot cell phone video of bridge workers using pressure washers that showered metal pieces onto boats.

"They got these little curly cues and those were flying from up there and coming down and landing on our boats," he said.

Brinar said he's got an insurance estimate of nearly $40,000 to get rid of the rust spots and repaint the boat, but he said it's been a nightmare getting the bridge contractor -- PCL -- to pay up.

"It has been very difficult to get claims processed," he said.

Tacoma's interim Public Works Director Kurtis Kingsolver said the city has the ultimate responsibility to protect its citizens. He said a pair of PCL subcontractors were battling over who's responsible for the unauthorized power washing until the city stepped in and told them to get the problem worked out.

"PCL, per our request, stepped up as the prime contractor to resolve this, and they'll deal with those subcontractors at a later date. And that's why it's now being resolved and paid for," Kingsolver said.

Brinar is still waiting for his check.

"They need to mitigate our issues so we can move on with our lives," he said.

A representative from PCL Construction, said the claims will be resolved and checks will be issued within two weeks.