TAMPA — In a recent lawsuit, Hillsborough County's bus authority accused WestShore Plaza of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not fixing a crumbled patch of walkway.
Now, after nearly two years of back and forth over a pothole, mall officials say they're ready to come to an agreement.
"We're very confident that any dispute with HART will be resolved amicably," Jay Botsch, general manager for WestShore Plaza, said Wednesday. "It's the right time now to sit, understand it and go forward appropriately."
It's too early to know exactly what that means, but Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit attorney Clark Jordan-Holmes said, "They're sounding more cooperative."
In the suit filed last month, HART said WestShore Plaza had allowed a large hole to persist, impeding the pathway for disabled riders to access a bus terminal on the mall's property.
The crumbled patch of pavement is in a crosswalk that leads from West Shore Boulevard to the bus terminal behind a WestShore Plaza parking garage. A bus rider who uses a wheelchair might have to veer out of the crosswalk to avoid the hole.
Jordan-Clark said the hole developed after a sewage line repair in 2002. He said HART offered to pay for a temporary fix, which would have cost about $5,000, until WestShore Plaza made a permanent fix.
"But the mall didn't want HART to do that," Jordan-Clark said.
Botsch declined to discuss details of any previous talks.
Kevin Graham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3433.