Northampton County officials are suing the company that did more than $2.2 million of work on the parking deck next to the courthouse and county offices in Easton.
The county filed suit in Northampton County Court on Thursday, claiming RAM Construction Services of Cleveland did faulty work on the upper tier of the parking garage.
The county is asking for $700,000 to fix the cracking problems, according to the suit.
"There are thousands of hairline cracks and concrete falling from the [lower tier's] ceiling," said county executive John Stoffa in an interview Thursday afternoon with WFMZ.com. "The taxpayers deserve a better product for their money."
According to the suit, the county agreed on May 13, 2010, to pay almost $1.7 million to RAM to refurbish the parking deck's upper tier. Another $500,000 was added to the contract on Feb. 28, 2011.
"As the project went along, more and more deficiencies were uncovered," Stoffa explained. He estimated that 65% of the upper tier had to be removed by jackhammer.
According to the suit, RAM told the county that the work was completed on April 23, 2011, but defects became apparent soon after.
The cracks allow water to leak onto cars on the lower tier; there is damage to a concrete beam at the top of the ramp, and joints have been improperly installed, according to the lawsuit.
The cracking and leaking pose a risk of structural damage and creates a public hazard, the county alleges.
Stoffa said the county has had RAM's work analyzed, but it's still not clear why the problems exist.
"There's speculation that the concrete wasn't mixed properly," he said. "Perhaps the concrete didn't cure properly. Concrete has to dry from the inside out, and maybe that didn't happen."
Stoffa said the $700,000 is needed to pay for the cost of resealing the surface of the upper tier.