Contractual Lessons From Construction Failures: Part One
Dr Donald Charrett (2008) V3 No 4 Construction Law International 15
This paper reviews the lessons that can be derived from the failure of the Quebec bridge during construction over 100 years ago. Although this failures had a predominantly “technical” cause in respect of inadequacies in the quality of design and/or construction, the focus of the paper is on the contractual and procedural aspects of project execution (particularly time, cost and scope of work), and the extent to which these may have been contributing factors to the collapse. The lessons learned from the report into this failure are not only timeless, but are still relevant today and are ignored or forgotten at our peril. The deaths resulting from this failure are a salutary reminder that failure to implement the appropriate contractual procedures and execute the works in compliance with the requirements of the contract can have much more serious consequences than a dispute over which party is liable to pay damages.
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