Since the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) proposed changes in 2013 to its Road and Bridge Specifications, Vandeventer Black lawyers have been working with industry representatives to try and initiate a more collaborative process about them. Vandeventer Black lawyer Pat Genzler, as General Counsel for the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (VTCA), has helped lead those efforts.

On December 28, 2015 VDOT announced its revisions to the 2007 Road and Bridge Specifications would be effective with the First January 2016 Advertisement (January 28, 2016). The revisions are available in full on the VDOT website at http://www.virginiadot.org/business/const/spec-default.asp.

Despite industry input, VDOT finalized the revisions with various changes significantly shifting risks from VDOT to contractors, including among those the following Section 100 changes:

  • Increased requirements for pre-bid review of contract documents and site information to identify any “ambiguities, conflicts, errors or omissions” and to provide written notice to VDOT – with the intended purpose of using the lack of written notice to bolster claim waiver arguments by VDOT.
  • Additional requirements for prompt written Notice of changed circumstances and waivers of contractor claims where notice has not been provided.
  • Shortened times for providing Notice of various changed conditions.
  • Additional bidder disqualification requirements.
  • Risk shifting relating to utility relocation.
  • Requirement and allowable compensation changes for additional costs relating to delays and differing site conditions.
  • Storm water permit requirement changes, both within and outside the right of ways.

Other changes were also made to Section 100, and to the other sections as well. More detailed summary respecting the changes is available at Vandeventer Black’s Construction and Government Contracts Group website at www.vanblacklaw.com.

The impacts of the revisions will also depend upon VDOT application of them as project issues arise. But it remains important that all prospective bidders, subcontractors, and suppliers for VDOT projects review the revisions and incorporate them into their bids and proposals, project contract documents, and project management.