I represent a number of highway/heavy contractors, all of whom know that doing business with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (“NCDOT” or the “Department”) requires careful attention to the agency’s “Standard Specifications for Roads and Structures.” NCDOT’s Standard Specs contain both front-end “General Requirements” (what would be called “General Conditions” on virtually any other public or private construction contract) and back-end standards for all aspects of highway work — from earthwork, pipe culverts, subgrade and asphalt pavements to signing, materials, pavement markings and electronic signalization.As my highway/heavy clients also know, the NCDOT’s Standard Specs are regularly revised every 4-6 years. Last year, NCDOT issued the 2012 version of its highway construction bible, updating the 2006 version. This post focuses on what I consider to be the ten most significant changes to NCDOT’s front-end “General Requirements.” As you will see below, these ten revisions affect how contractors obtain, perform and make claims on NCDOT work.
Tag Archives: delay claims
Is it just me, or has it been exceedingly gray and wet in Raleigh-Durham, NC so far in 2013? Heck, forecasters are even calling for 3-6 inches of snow overnight in the Triangle (note to self: pick up milk, bread and other essentials during the lunch break, before the grocery stores shelves are predictably and thoroughly picked over).
The unusually dreary skies around here of late have me thinking about the intersection between the weather and construction delay claims. Specifically, I’ve been ruminating on this question: when is a contractor’s project delay excused by nasty weather?
The Owner shall not be liable to the Contractor and/or any Subcontractor for claims or damages of any nature caused by or arising out of delays. The sole remedy against the Owner for delays shall be the allowance of additional time for completion of the Work, the amount of which shall be subject to the claims procedure set forth in the General Conditions.~ Werner Sabo, Legal Guide to AIA Documents, 2008 (5th ed.)
Such clauses aren’t always enforceable. In fact, under North Carolina statutory law, “no damages for delay” provisions are unenforceable in prime contracts between public owners and general contractors. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-134.3. But in all other cases where such clauses are enforceable, do they provide an impenetrable defense against increased costs arising from project delay? Not necessarily. Continue reading