As anticipated, today MDOT issued their “COVID-19 Construction Contract Administration Guidance” that lays out the Department’s intentions for working with their contractors to deliver critical infrastructure projects during the COVID-19 crisis. The guidance is intended to help prime contractors understand how they may react and proceed when there are project specific COVID-19 impacts and concerns.
The guidance acknowledges that a prime contractor can suspend their work operations due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and that this suspension should be executed in accordance with subsection 104.07 of the Standard Specifications for Construction. Employee safety, labor force shortages, supply chain challenges, and PPE availability are all COVID-19 related concerns and impacts that may be the basis for a prime contractor’s decision to suspend their work operations.
In acknowledging that prime contractors can suspend their work operations due to the effects of COVID-19, the guidance also acknowledges that those work stoppages will be considered a project delay in the context of the Standard Specifications for Construction. The guidance states that since these COVID-19 related delays are not attributable to the Department, they will be considered non-compensable. However, per the guidance, COVID-19 related delays will be considered excusable per subsections 108.08 and 108.08.C.5 of the Standard Specifications for Construction, and MDOT will grant time extensions without the assessment of liquidated damages.
The guidance references the prime contractor’s responsibilities per the Standard Specification for Construction for maintaining a safe work zone during the delay, as well as the contractual procedures for the resumption of work at the expiration or removal of Executive Order 2020-21, as it may be amended or extended.
For prime contractors that continue work operations, the guidance acknowledges that there may be critical path progress schedule impacts, due to your efforts to implement COVID-19 safety measures. The guidance indicates MDOT will recognize schedule delays attributable to the implementation of safety measures (i.e. reduced crew size, delayed operations, decreased productivity, etc.) as non-compensable, but excusable per subsection 108.08.C5 of the Standard Specifications for Construction, for which they will grant time extensions without the assessment of liquidated damages.
Click here to view and download MDOT’s “COVID-19 Construction Contract Administration Guidance”.
If you have any questions, please contact Glenn Bukoski, VP of Engineering Services, at email@example.com, or Rachelle VanDeventer, VP of Industry Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.