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Reporter's Statement of the Case

Our office files fail to disclose orders for additional work performed as follows:

Rock Excavation Abutment 5 and 6.
Gravel excavation Abutment 5 and 6.

Rock and gravel excavation cylinders Columbia
Island and Virginia Shore.
Removal of silt, Columbia Island.

Additional bracing cofferdams.
Additional concrete foundations, Abutments, Piers,
and Cylinders.

Additional Reinforcing Steel.

Additional bending of reinforcing steel.

It is requested that you kindly furnish us a copy of these orders to complete our record and file. Thanking you.

To this letter the contracting officer replied April 7, 1930:

With reference to your letter of March 31st regarding additional work performed by you, please be advised that, numbering the items in the order in which you state them in your letter, Items Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are automatically provided for under the provisions of Paragraph 48 of the specifications.

As to Item No. 4, although payment for this item was allowed and made several months ago, I see no reason why formal order for this work should not be issued, and accordingly one is being prepared which will be sent to you immediately.

The only work of the nature specified by Item No. 5 of which this office has any record is a claim from you which this office does not consider to be a justifiable


Item No. 6 is also automatically taken care of under the provisions of the last subparagraph of paragraph 34 of the specifications to the extent to which payment has been made. No payment in excess of that amount has been authorized.

Items Nos. 7 and 8 I believe have been taken care of by our letters of March 3rd.

15. On April 1, 1930, the contracting officer ordered of plaintiffs in writing certain brass washers at a tendered price of $25. The plaintiffs furnished the brass washers and defendant has not paid for them.

16. The design of the bridge included carved eagles as finials of the two pylons at the Columbia Island end of the

Reporter's Statement of the Case

bridge. The blocks of stone there for are known in this case as the "eagle stones." The Government at first intended to have the plaintiffs set these two blocks after they had been carved, in which event each of them would have been within the maximum of 15 tons set in Article 82 of the specifications. During the progress of the work the defendant's officers decided that the blocks should be set uncarved and thereafter sculptured. In their uncarved condition each weighed about 31 tons, and the contracting officer invited a proposal from the plaintiffs for the change in work. Plaintiffs at first submitted a proposal which included an insurance premium of $600 and profit and cost of bond thereon. At the contracting officer's insistence they eliminated the premium on insurance, the profit, and the cost of bond thereon, and on August 24, 1930, quoted a price of $3,126 for setting the two stones, stating: "In making this revision to our estimate we have deducted the amount covering property insurance premium plus profit, plus bond, which we had originally included." Plaintiffs procured insurance against damage to property and injury to persons in the setting of these stones, and paid therefor a premium of $600.

On September 2, 1930, the contracting officer accepted plaintiffs' proposal in the sum of $3,126 and authorized payment thereof under Article 33 of the specifications, and payment has been limited to that amount, leaving $600 unpaid.

17. Piles were used for supporting false work for the beam spans for the underpasses. The increase in depth below the contract drawing "rock" line necessitated plaintiffs' using longer piles for the east underpass. Plaintiffs had originally planned to use 22-foot piles, based on a bearing surface at the "rock" line. They were forced by the circumstance to use 30-foot piles and were thereby put to an additional expense, excluding overhead, profit, and bond of $618.75. With the three additional factors, the amount is $722.23.

18. Construction of the main arch span could not be begun until both the Virginia and Columbia Island sides of the bridge were ready. During the process of its construction

Reporter's Statement of the Case

it was supported on steel I-beams resting on the concrete walls. Plaintiffs used three sets of 14 I-beams each. They had planned originally to use two sets only. The walls were not completed in the order originally expected due to disruption of plaintiffs' program of work. In the original plan one set of I-beams was to be shifted to new locations and new use after one girder had been completed. The cost of the additional set of supports, together with cost of additional form work, supports, and forms for underpasses necessary on account of inability to shift the work, was $4,294.92, exclusive of overhead, profit, and cost of bond. With these three added the cost amounted to $5,013.25.

19. The contract drawings delineated the course of drains for the underpasses. They could not be laid as indicated without passing through the cylinders, which was not a proper method of routing, and plaintiffs bypassed the drains around the cylinders, using extra fittings and pipe to form offsets. The cost of the diversion was $424.21, exclusive of overhead, profit, and cost of bond. Including overhead, profit, and cost of bond, the amount is $495.16.

20. Most of the excavated rock and gravel from the two abutments was placed in the Boundary Channel because there was no other place available for storing it without hauling it away. This material was removed from the channel later on at the insistence of the contracting officer and with the permission of the Government inspectors used for backfill over the abutments. The cost of removing it from the channel was $3,943.05, exclusive of overhead, profit, and cost of bond. Adding overhead, profit, and cost of bond, the amount is $4,602.53.

21. Plaintiffs erected a concrete mixing plant on the job, a part of which were the material hoppers. The base of the material hoppers was of earth, upon which were constructed side walls and a sloping bottom of planks. The earth used in the construction was procured by permission of defendant's resident engineer from excavation of the Virginia abutment cofferdam, he representing at the time that no earth so deposited need be removed or graded. At the insistence of the contracting officer it was graded down by plaintiffs and the grading finished September 26, 1930.

Reporter's Statement of the Case

The cost thereof was $349.82, exclusive of overhead, profit, and cost of bond. Including them, the amount is $408.32. 22. Plaintiffs finished the pouring of concrete and the setting of stone August 27, 1930. Except for leveling off the earth from the site of the aggregate hoppers the contract work was finished September 17, 1930. The leveling off of this earth was completed September 26, 1930, as hereinabove related.

By mutual arrangement the question as to extension of contract time, and the number of days' delay, if any, to be charged to the plaintiffs in the form of liquidated damages, was left to be determined at the conclusion of the contract work. A like postponement was agreed to with respect to plaintiffs' calculation of their costs for the purpose of preferring claim they might have against the United States.

On or about August 28, 1931, the contracting officer assessed against the plaintiffs liquidated damages for 111 days' delay, at the contract rate of $100 per day, total $11,100, and against plaintiffs' protest withheld that sum February 8, 1932, from sums otherwise due plaintiffs on the contract. This assessment extended the time for completion from February 2, 1930, the original contract date for completion, to June 7, 1930, or an extension of 125 days.

Had normal progress in the work been sustained without the circumstances complained of plaintiffs would have completed the contract about January 21, 1930. Computed on the normal date for completion of January 21, 1930, and the actual clean-up date, September 26, 1930, there were 248 calendar days of delay.

Plaintiffs' costs were increased on account of the 248 days of delay, by way of increases in union wage scales after the original contract date for completion, rentals, salaries of straight-time foremen, office-force salaries, and extension of work further into the winter, amounting in all to $35,768.87, exclusive of overhead, profit, and cost of bond. Including these factors, the costs amount to $41,751.21.

23. Had plaintiffs finished the contract work January 21, 1930, or thereabouts, the costs to them on the work as originally called for by the contract would have been less than they were under the actual conditions. This increase in cost,

Reporter's Statement of the Case

due to conditions actually encountered, different from those under which they could normally have completed the work by January 21, 1930, or thereabouts, amounts to $78,217.84, exclusive of overhead, profit, and cost of bond. With these three added, the increase amounts to $91,299.78.

24. On December 10, 1930, plaintiffs in writing to the executive officer of the Arlington Memorial Bridge Commission, asserted a claim against the United States for a net cost for additional work on the Boundary Channel Bridge, of $162,901.70, concluding with the statement:

An equitable adjustment would, we believe, be reached by taking the cost of the whole work as the final adjustment. This cost can readily be audited.

The executive officer replied that he was unable to agree to this basis of settlement, and suggested reference of the question of basis to the Comptroller General of the United States. The plaintiffs submitted more detailed calculations of cost and on May 11, 1931, the executive officer submitted the question to the Comptroller General as to whether settlement should be made on basis of Article 4 of the contract, or Article 48 of the specifications.

This question was submitted to the Comptroller General May 11, 1931, by letter as follows, a copy thereof being at the same time transmitted by the contracting officer to the plaintiffs in this case:

The N. P. Severin Company (general contractor for the Boundary Channel Bridge of the Arlington Memorial Bridge project) has presented a claim in the amount of $162,901.70 to cover alleged additional costs incurred by him as a result of increased depth of the foundations for this bridge made necessary by the existence of a layer of unsuitable material which had to be excavated and replaced with concrete in order to secure satisfactory foundations for that structure. Attached hereto are photostat copies of the correspondence exchanged with the Contractor on this subject.

Following is a brief summary of the conditions and operations appertaining to this claim: At Abutment No. 5 (i. e., the abutment on the Columbia Island side of the Boundary Channel) a layer of gravel and boulders averaging about seven feet in thickness was encountered. The borings which had been made before

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