Alabama Supreme Court Leaks

A crack here, a separation there, nasty water marks on the wall in the parking garage below the plaza. It's a mess.

"It doesn't sit well with me," said building engineer Kermit Suggs.

So much so the chief justice is asking Alabama lawmakers for more than 6 million dollars to fix the problem. Suggs says they noticed the leaks not long after the Alabama Supreme Court opened in 1993, built to the tune of 40 million dollars.

"It just got worse over time," Suggs said.

A supreme problem at the Supreme Court. One has to wonder why the original contractor isn't being held responsible. Suggs says they've already gone down that road.

"He repaired some of the leaks during the warranty period, but when the warranty ran out he didn't feel he was responsible," said Suggs.

To illustrate what we're talking about, part of the sidewalk next to a retaining wall has dropped 3 and a half inches over the years. Suggs says if something isn't done, the lower plaza could literally collapse over time.

"The problem is the rubber membrane they put down has holes in it and it wasn't covered up immediately after it was put down and much of the membrane is deteriorating," said Suggs.

Rather than look back, Suggs says they're looking ahead. The job to repair the leaks will be colossal.

"We're going to have to rip up the entire upper and lower plazas," Suggs predicts.

It'll be labor-intensive and a job that could take a year to complete.

Suggs says as far as he knows lawmakers haven't given Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb any money but the request has received a favorable response.

The $6.3 million price tag also includes plugging leaks in the roof.