Yaquina River Contractors (Granite Construction), who have been constructing the upgraded Highway 20 from Pioneer Mountain to near Newport, has responded forcefully to a “Notice of Default” notice by Oregon Department of Transportation that gives YRC ten days to respond on how they’re going to move the project forward. The project has been down for many months as engineers ponder what to do about engineering a better way to keep bridge columns in place, rather than being pushed by an ancient landslide. ODOT claims YRC is responsible for the fix. YRC contends the fix is on ODOT’s dime, not their’s. Here’s YRC’s response to the “Notice of Default.”
GRANITE PROVIDES UPDATE ON US 20 PROJECT IN OREGON
WATSONVILLE, Calif. (March 17) – Granite Construction Incorporated announced Saturday that the company’s joint venture, Yaquina River Contractors (“YRC”), received a Notice of Default” from the Oregon Department of Transportation (“ODOT”) relating to the US 20 project. Granite is confident it is not in default of its obligations under the contract and that the allegations contained in the Notice are without merit. The company will contest the Notice.
Granite has been in discussions with ODOT to address design issues and delays on the project due to unanticipated and continuing geotechnical conditions and landslide movement. Granite has been performing its duties under the contract including working with ODOT to determine how to safely and most cost-effectively complete the project. ODOT was fully aware of Granite’s ongoing efforts and the company was surprised by ODOT’s filing of the Notice
In October 2011, a Dispute Review Board (“DRB”) concluded that ODOT is responsible to pay YRC for the costs of the delay and new design and construction work required to address the ongoing landslide issues. ODOT rejected the DRB’s findings and unilaterally disbanded the board.
The DRB comprises a panel of construction industry experts with experience in assessing disputes of this nature. Both parties agreed in the contract to place a large measure of importance on the DRB recommendations.
“Granite Construction Company has never defaulted on a project in the history of the company. We take this Notice very seriously and intend to vigorously defend our position and reputation in this matter,” said James H. Roberts, Granite president and CEO. He continued, “Despite serious and unanticipated project difficulties, Granite remains committed to satisfying its contractual requirements on the US 20 project.”