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Suit: City owes Amtrak, Union Station more than $500,000 for viaduct repairs

The City of Chicago welshed on its obligation to maintain the Canal Street Viaduct near Union Station, costing the commuting hub and Amtrak more than $500,000 to inspect the area and remove broken concrete, a new lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court by the parent companies of Amtrak and Union Station and alleges that the city assumed responsibility for maintaining the viaduct in 1980.

“The city has failed to properly maintain the Canal Street Viaduct, leading to spalling concrete on its undersurfaces,” the suit stated.

Union Station was responsible for the upkeep from 1914 until 1980, when the train station and the city entered into a new agreement that shifted responsibility to the city, the suit stated.

Though the suit states the city’s failure to maintain the viaduct has been “ongoing” since 1980, Amtrak and Union Station only began paying for inspections and repairs in June 2013, according to the suit.

In the nearly two years since, Amtrak and Union Station have spent more than $514,000 on upkeep, repairs and inspections, the suit stated.

The broken concrete has “the potential to put at risk the safety and health of the workers and general public using the station areas underneath the viaduct,” the suit alleged.

A spokesman for the city’s Law Department said the city has not yet had the chance to review the suit and was unable to comment further.

The three-count suit alleges breach of contract and negligence and seeks to recoup the $514,000 spent by Amtrak and Union Station.