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Addressing the issue of delays in construction contracts, disputes, P.1

With the road construction season upon us, Pennsylvania readers are sure to soon experience the inconveniences associated with such projects. In particular, two Pennsylvania Department of Transportation construction projects, one on Route 147 in Point Township and another on Interstate 80 in Montour County, are expected to cause traffic delays.

In any large construction project, whether involving roadways, real estate, or otherwise, there is a great deal of coordination and planning that needs to be done to ensure that the project proceeds as smoothly and with as few complications and delays as possible. If the property owners or developers and the contractors involved in a project are willing to work out any issues that arise, challenges can be overcome, but it is also important for parties to understand their legal obligations and rights, especially when it comes to construction delays and defects. 

The rights of parties in construction projects are governed by the terms of the various contracts involved and the default rules of contract law. Certainly, parties need to have an understanding of the types of challenges that can arise and negotiate terms that protect their interests. For both parties, one important interest is determining who is responsible when delays occur.  

Delays are fairly common in construction projects, but delays aren’t necessarily always detrimental to the overall project. In most construction projects, it is not so much delays in particular activities within a project that cause significant costs, but mostly delays in the overall project. When delays occur in specific aspects of a construction project, the costs associated with the delay depend on how quickly the factors that led to the delay are addressed and how the construction contract address delays with respect to the overall timeline of the project.

In our next post, we’ll say more about this issue and the importance of working with an experienced attorney negotiate and enforce the terms surrounding delays in construction projects. 

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