Legal and Contractual Areas of Subsurface Investigations for Pipelines

by Lawrence R. Carter, (M.ASCE), Project Engr.; Williams Brothers Engrg. Co., Tulsa, Okla.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 3, Pg. 379-383

Document Type: Journal Paper


Risk, liability, and uncertainties of construction costs and time are conditions that are prevalent on a pipeline project when subsurface information is obtained only for planning and design purposes, if such information does not adequately describe subsurface conditions. Such conditions may prove costly to both the owner and design professional regardless of what is stated in the construction contract concerning liability for actual subsurface conditions differing from those indicated in the contract documents. A means of reducing the risk, liability, and uncertainties of construction costs and time is seen as including a subsurface investigation for construction purposes in the subsurface investigation program for the project. It is recommended that separate investigations be made for each intended purpose and that the authority and responsibility for the subsurface investigation for design purposes be delegated to the design professional.

Subject Headings: Subsurface investigation | Liability | Construction costs | Legal affairs | Pipelines | Risk management | Uncertainty principles | Subsurface environment

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