Fiber optic cables being installed underground surrounded by other construction equipment

One subcontractor is allegedly owed $4.9 million following the construction of 800 miles of Verizon 5G outdoor fiber optic cable in Birmingham, Alabama. 

According to two separate mechanics lien affidavits processed with the Jefferson County clerk’s office on September 23, 2020, subcontractor Kadrmas Lee & Jackson, Inc. — also known as KLJ Engineering — filed an unpaid construction work claim against general contractor Bear Communications

A mechanics lien is a debt recovery tool for unpaid contractors which can hinder a property’s sale or refinancing. This allows the contractor to gain a security interest in the property until their debt has been settled. The lien claims on the Verizon 5G project were filed pursuant to Alabama statutes that govern mechanics lien filings

The project is designed to expand Verizon’s 5G bandwidth across the state, part of the telecommunication giant’s nationwide One Fiber project. As of January of 2020, Verizon has completed their 5G fiber optic project in 34 US markets. 

Subcontractor KLJ Engineering filed liens valued at $4,959,079 against two separate addresses with two different property owners. Both mechanics lien affidavits state that Bear Communications was an “agent” of the property owners, which in turn hired KLJ Engineering. 

Both lien claims were filed on September 23, 2020. One claim lists Crown Castle GT Co. LLC as a property owner, and a second lien affidavit lists Joseph & Yearton Co.

KLJ Engineering’s lien claim that lists Crown Castle GT Co. involved construction that took place at 275 Office Park Dr, Birmingham, AL. 

Construction at Joseph & Yearton’s property was located roughly 8 miles south of the Crown Castle GT site at 2260 Rocky Ridge Rd, Birmingham, AL. 

According to KLJ Engineering’s lien affidavit, the subcontractor contributed to the project for “furnishing of engineered drawings, administrative, management, and consulting services.” 

Representatives from both KLJ Engineering and Bear Communications could not be reached for comment regarding the project or the lien filing. 

In January of 2020, Fierce Telecom reported that Verizon expected to spend between $17 billion to $18 billion by the end of 2020 to construct their 5G fiber optic project across the country.