With the contract for the Dilworth Plaza renovation now awarded, the City has notified the Occupy Philly
crybabies protestors that they must vacate Dilworth Plaza immediately. However, the happy campers do not seem eager to move. It begs the question: how long can they stay before the encampment begins to seriously impact the construction schedule for the Dilworth Plaza project and ultimately costs the taxpayers more money?
Construction schedules carefully sequence work in order to bring a project in on time and on budget. If one sequence of the work is disrupted, the overall project schedule can be delayed resulting in additional labor costs for the contractors working on the project. The contractors who have been impacted by the delay will look to the general contractor for additional compensation because of the delay. The general contractor will likely pass those claims along to the owner. This claims often end up in litigation compounding the already increased cost.
Any potential delay to an outdoor project is even more troubling. Certain work on the Dilworth Plaza project will certain involve “weather sentitive” finishes. As the name suggests, weather sentitive work is work that can only be performed in certain a certain climate. For example, concrete work is a weather sentitive finish. If the tempature is too hot or too cold, a contractor cannot pour concrete. Therefore, if there is weather sensitive work on the Dilworth Plaza project , that is scheduled to be performed before the coldest Philadelphia weather sets in, that cannot be performed because of the Occupy Philly encampment that work will have to wait until the Spring. Moreover, if that work is “predecessor work” meaning work must be performed before other work can begin – such as a foundation – the project schedule can quickly unravel.
If the delay in commencing is not too long, there is no doubt that the general contractor on the Dilworth Plaza project, an experienced contractor familiar with this type of work, will be able to make up any delay caused by the protestors without much impact. However, if the City fails to move the protestors soon and further delay ensues, the taxpayers could be left holding the bag when delayed contractors come looking for compensation.