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Project Owner Warranty Of Site Access

Monday, October 03, 2005 04:11 pm

 
Project Owner Warranty Of Site Access

Adequate access to the job site is a prerequisite to the timely performance and proper sequencing of the work. When a contractor experiences impeded site access, questions arise regarding the scope and nature of the project owner's obligations. It is possible to find both express and implied warranties of site access in the contract documents.

Express Warranties

One contract for the construction of a remote radar facility stated that an access road suitable for standard commercial vehicles would be available when work commenced. The contract even stipulated the grade and surface of the road. Unfortunately, the road - which was constructed by a separate government contractor - was completed 16 months late. The government was liable for breach of its warranty of site access. Appeal of Varaburn, Ltd., ASBCA No. 22177 (April 13, 1982); CCM June 1982, p. 5.

Contracts frequently contain assurances that the project owner will acquire the necessary right-of-ways prior to commencement of construction. When a state highway department failed to do so, due to public opposition to the project, the department was held liable to the contractor for breach of contract. Georgia Department of Transportation v. Arapaho Construction, Inc., 357 S.E.2d 593 (Ga. 1987); CCM October 1987, p. 4.

Site access representations are not limited to the means of access and egress. One contract for construction of a school building stated that fill, to be place [...]

 
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