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You Can't Claim Surprise For Head-in-the-sand Ignorance Of Site Conditions

Sunday, May 04, 2008 02:48 pm

 
You Can't Claim Surprise For Head-in-the-sand Ignorance Of Site Conditions

A subcontractor inexperienced with marine conditions got in over its head when tidal currents and swells impeded dredging work. But a cry of "differing site conditions" (DSC) was not a life raft.

Tri-State Consultants, Inc. (Tri-State) hired Hendry Corp. (Hendry) to complete the dredging work on an U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) project designed to repair a sand dune in a New Jersey inlet by using borrow material from a navigation channel. The Corps' bid solicitation described the borrow area as "dynamic" and characterized by strong currents and rough waves.

During the project, Hendry experienced significant difficulty performing the dredging work. The crew encountered "continual swells" and a strong "bottom current" that shifted sand and built up shoals, broke equipment and dislodged anchors, according to Hendry. Based in part on DSC claims, Tri-State appealed (on behalf of itself and Hendry) the Corps' denial of a project time extension and more than $1.6 million. The appeal failed on bo [...]

 
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