Association News

ACPA National and Chapters Seek to Classify Construction as Essential

As noted in our other stories this issue, ACPA is working with federal agencies and national organizations to inform and influence officials to consider classifying infrastructure construction and related activities as essential.

On a parallel path, ACPA Chapters have been working hard to encourage state Governors and other public officials to do the same.

Because this is a fluid situation, Chapters are working quickly in their outreach to state and local public officials, so not all of their efforts are included in this story.

The following list shows examples of the excellent work being done by the chapters, as well as other allied organizations working in partnership. Click the links below to see a few examples of state actions:

This comprehensive effort was spurred, in part, by a directive by the Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Click here to see the CISA directive.

We hope you will join us in thanking the Chapters and also encouraging others to contact their governors and state departments of transportation to urge the designation of the construction trades (as well as suppliers and other vendors) as essential to our Nation. ACPA will continue to work closely with our Chapters and others to continue this effort at both the federal and local levels. Look for additional information from ACPA as it develops.

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Photo: ACPA national and chapter affiliates are working  together on a concerted effort to inform and persuade state officials to classify infrastructure construction as essential. The Pennsylvania State Capitol building depicts the efforts happening on the state level, including in the Keystone State.

Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

Legal Considerations for Challenging Times

Editor’s Note: Tom Olson of Olson Construction Law, an ACPA member, sent the following information to clients and others.We thought it was worthy of sharing with all ACPA members and other ACPA TODAY subscribers. Special thanks to Tom for sharing this important and timely information.

At this unprecedented time, construction businesses must evaluate their contractual rights and obligations in order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With regard to any delays, suspensions of work, and/or terminations that occur as a result of the outbreak, we recommend the following:

Delays–If your work has or will be delayed as a result of the outbreak, review your contract to determine whether and when you are required to give formal notice of delay, as well as any corresponding documentation related to the impact of the delay (i.e. schedule updates, cost information, notice of claim, etc.).

Suspensions of Work–If the owner/engineer suspends any work you are contracted to perform as a result of the outbreak, review your contract to determine what you need to do in order to preserve your right to any corresponding increases in contract price or contract time. Many contracts require you to provide your requested contract adjustment within a set period of day after you receive notice to resume work.

Termination–If any of your work is terminated as a result of the outbreak, you are most likely entitled to payment for any completed and accepted work prior to the date of termination (including overhead and profit or OH&P, any expenses you incurred prior to the date of termination (including OH&P), and any other expenses directly attributable to the termination. While you are unlikely to recover loss of anticipated overhead, profits or revenue, make sure you review your contracts to ensure you provide any required cost proposals, back-up documentation, etc. as required by the contract.

Force Majeure–Some contracts also contain what is known as a “force majeure” clause. This type of clause relieves one or both sides of their obligations if they are unable to perform due to some massive and unforeseen event beyond their control; classic examples include fires, earthquakes, floods or wars. Review your contracts to determine if any such language applies to the current COVID-19 pandemic, whether any notice provisions apply, and whether your contracts may be impacted.

In addition, in order to efficiently navigate this ever-evolving situation, we recommend that you remain in close communication with the owner/engineer to help ensure everyone’s expectations are in line with one another.

However your work is ultimately impacted by COVID-19, it is important for you to remain proactive and investigate your contractual rights and responsibilities sooner rather than later. And, for any future work you plan to bid during the outbreak, make sure there is written clarification regarding the potential impacts of COVID-19 before you submit your bid. Since these future contracts will be entered into after the pandemic became “known,” you may be assuming responsibility for any related delays or disruptions to your work.

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For additional information or questions, please contact Thomas R. Olson, Olson Construction Law, P.C., 1898 Livingston Avenue, West Saint Paul, MN  55118. Call 651.298.9884 or visit olsonconstructionlaw.com.

Pandemic Impacts Industry Events

The pandemic crisis is forcing many organizations to cancel or reschedule events, and in some cases, decisions about rescheduling are not possible at the present time.  Among the recent national industry events to be impacted are:

  • Canceled–The 2020 National Association of County Executives (NACE) Annual Conference, Orange, AL. The conference was originally scheduled for mid-May.
  • Postponed–The 2020 Cement and Concrete Industry Fly-in, Washington, DC. The event was originally scheduled for mid-May.
  • Postponed–The 2020 ACPA Chapter Committee Meeting, Vail. CO. The meeting was originally scheduled for mid-May.

Many ACPA chapter workshops and other industry events also have been canceled or postponed, and some are being rescheduled.  We encourage members and affiliates to check our web calendar on the ACPA home page (acpa.org) for additional information. If you know about a canceled or postponed event, please email details to:  education@acpa.org.

FHWA Concrete Clips: Aggregates

Editor’s note: In 2018, the Federal Highway Administration introduced “Concrete Clips,” a series of videos that inform viewers of  interesting and valuable information about concrete pavements, materials, testing methods, and much more. Since then, the FHWA has expanded the series. The entire series is definitely worth watching!  As such, we’ll be presenting a different video in the series in this and other issues of ACPA TODAY.

The FHWA’s video, “Aggregates for Concrete Paving Mixtures,” describes the basic building blocks of concrete, the hydration process, and the role of fine and coarse aggregates in concrete. The video then provides details about the purpose and value of sieve sizes and the important role they play in formulating quality concrete mixtures.

The 12.5-minute video explains why crushed limestone has emerged as the most common coarse aggregate. It also describes the importance of proper cleanliness and gradation, as well as the fundamentals of aggregate gradation. The characteristics of good quality aggregates are also described, as are the ASTM test methods for testing aggregates.

Click here to view the video. You can also view the video through ACPA’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/ConcretePavements.

AHUA: Congress in Overdrive to Pass Virus-Related Stimulus

Congress is kicking into overdrive to pass Corona virus-related stimulus packages, according to the American Highway Users Alliance, which reports lawmakers passed the first $8 billion stimulus package less than two weeks ago.

The House passed revised text of a 2nd stimulus package, H.R. 6201, Monday night. The approximately $100 billion package is for expanding access to free testing, providing $1 billion in food aid and extending sick leave benefits to vulnerable Americans.

On Monday, Senate EPW Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) said he would like to see parts of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 (S. 2302) included in an economic relief package responding to the coronavirus. 

“It’s a formula model where 90 percent of the money goes out by formula to all the states, and it increases the amount that they had from previous years,” he says. Senator Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, made a similar pitch to include infrastructure in a stimulus package.

Yesterday, there were reports the Administration and Senate Republicans are considering modifying the 2nd House stimulus package (H.R. 6201) to create a massive bill, which would include $850 billion to $1 trillion in relief and that this would be an alternative to passing a third stimulus, as previously discussed.

It appears Congress intends to continue to move quickly, but this is a rapidly evolving situation. We will provide additional reports as we receive updates.

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

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