AUGUSTA (AP) — A natural gas company building a pipeline in Maine has agreed to pay contractors tens of millions of dollars included in a lawsuit against the utility.

A top official at Summit Natural Gas of Maine, building a network from Richmond to Madison, told the Kennebec Journal ( ) that $38 million will be paid to between 10 and 20 contractors by Friday.

About 75 percent of the money is owed to K&K Excavation and the Turner company’s subcontractors, said Tim Johnston, executive vice president of Summit Utilities, the parent of Maine’s Summit.

The money was jeopardized after Schmid Pipeline Construction Inc. walked off the job in November and sued Summit for $72 million in damages, alleging breach of contract.

When Schmid walked off the job, subcontractors kept working but didn’t get paid.

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