Subsurface Construction Contracts—A Contractor's View

by George A. Fox, (F.ASCE), Executive Vice Pres.; Grow Tunneling Corp., New York, NY,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 2, Pg. 153-158

Document Type: Journal Paper


The number of conflicts, amount of claims and litigation, and the number of established heavy construction contractors who suffer heavy losses or go out of business demonstrates that the contracts and specifications do not provide an adequate meeting of the minds. Changes in contracts and specifications are overdue and necessary to improve the construction industry. No responsible contractor will argue against detailed language in performance standards. Even under the present framework, modifications of certain built-in areas of conflict can be made, i.e., subsurface information, utilities, earth support structures, dewatering, piles, compressed air, tunnel lining and rock support, decision making, approvals, and claims, which will make contracts and specifications less one-sided, onerous, and punitive from the contractor's view. Conflict is not solved by more rules which intensify the conflict. It is now time to redress the relationship between contractor and owner.

Subject Headings: Subsurface environment | Contractors and subcontractors | Claims | Commercial construction | Frames | Underground structures | Lifeline systems | Support structures

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