Construction Law/Clarificationn


Dear Peter,

I am currently working on a Road Construction Contract. The Contract is based on FIDIC Redbook 1999.

The project involves construction of a new 2 lane road parallel to an existing 2 lane road. In addition to this the scope also involves modification of an existing fence on both "RHS" and "LHS" of the road. The modification works involve removal of the Existing Chain link fence and installation of Sand Fence in order to avoid accumulation of windblown sand in the event of cross winds along the Fence, which currently is the problem with the existing Chain link fence.

Since as of the start date of the project, there was considerable sand accumulated along the existing Chainlink Fence, we as contractors advised the client that we would not be able to modify the existing fence unless the sand accumulated was cleared off. To this, the client responded with the following excerpt from the General specifications for the project:

"For the whole period of the project upto the issuing of the Taking over Certificate, the Contractor is responsible to remove from the project area any accumulated windblown sand at his own expenses."

Thus, my question is, based on the above excerpt, is the Contractor responsible for removal of sand that got accumulated only during the project period? Or is he also responsible to clear off all sand which got accumulated and was existent along the fence as on the start date of the project?

I hope i have made myself clear and expecting a clear response from your goodself.

Best Regards,

Jayan Chacko

Dear Jayan,

I presume that there were no questions and clarification during the tender period regarding this subject. Further I presume that you visited the site and saw all the sand which had to be removed and made a suitable allowance in your offer.  

The clause says nothing about removing only the sand that accumulated after the contract started, but any sand that accumulated in the project area.

I regret to say that you got caught this time.  Hopefully you will learn and recover the cost on the next project.  

Construction Law

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Peter M. Elliott


First response to queries regarding extensions of time, variations orders, site instructions and payment using FIDIC and other forms of Conditions of Contract, based on English Law, and derivatives only. Anyone who needs advice about EoT should download and study the SCL Delay & Disruption Protocol before submitting a question.


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Institution of Civil Engineers, Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, Society of Construction Law, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation

B Sc(Hons) in Civil Engineering

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