Urban was retained by the Connecticut Department of Transportation to provide on call claims and litigation support services. These services involve the review, analysis, and evaluation of complex and interrelated engineering and construction issues. As ConnDOT’s on-call construction claims services consultant, Urban is responsible for thoroughly investigating and analyzing prospective claims, evaluating their merit, establishing appropriate damage amounts, and preparing the necessary supporting technical data such as CPM schedules and expert records.
Not all claims can be solved with a report. Sometimes, resolution includes mediation and then arbitration. This involves two parties presenting to a mediator and then the mediator attempts to find common ground to solve the issues for both parties. If there is no settlement, it goes to arbitration or to the board of claims. For the two projects below, mediation was successfully accomplished.
Highway Maintenance Electrical Facility and Salt Storage Shed, Southbury, CT
This $5.5 million construction project of a highway maintenance electrical facility and at Southbury, Connecticut resulted in nine alleged claim issues and a 133-day delay to the project completion. The claim amount was $916,000. Urban was asked to step in and promptly evaluated the merit of each claim issue, determined if the issue resulted in delaying the project completion, and if merit existed, then determined if the damages claimed were reasonable. The findings of merit were based on the project documentation that was available at the time of the analysis. Project schedules were required to be updated on a regular basis; however, Urban’s review and evaluation of the project schedules showed that the contractor did not reasonably show the progress of the project’s critical path of work. Thus, an as-built schedule analysis was used to determine the progress of the critical work through project completion and moved the claims to successful mediation.
Runway Safety Improvements Project at Waterbury-Oxford Airport
This $2 million project involved the construction of safety areas at the end of the runway at the Oxford-Waterbury Airport. The contractor alleged two damage issues and a 421-day project completion delay. The claim total amount was approximately $510,000. Urban evaluated the merit of the claim issues regarding excavation and barrow material and a stop-work order due to differing site conditions. The evaluation of merit was based on the available project documentation. The schedule analysis was based on the as-built information because there were no project schedules available. The result was a successful mediation between ConnDOT and the contractor.
We were retained not only for its technical expertise but for its understanding of how technical issues relate to and impact the often larger legal and financial aspects of major projects and assignments. This cross-disciplinary investigation is the key to successfully evaluating claims.