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Opinion of the Court The above quantities have been computed with ordinary care and accuracy from the contract drawings, and are believed to be substantially correct, but they are furnished only for the information and convenience of bidders and without responsibility to the United States.

Bidders are expected to compute or otherwise to verify from the contract drawings the actual quantities of materials to be furnished and work to be done, and no claims for adjustment arising from any errors, either relative or absolute, which may be discovered in any of the above quantities will be allowed.

The quantity of concrete to be placed as given above was calculated from the contract drawings on the basis of elevations and dimensions indicated. As stated on the drawings, the elevations shown for bedrock are average only, and departures of about 5 feet either way from those averages may be expected. If, due to unexpected depths to bedrock, the aggregate amount of concrete actually placed in the foundations shall exceed the amount as estimated from the contract drawings, the contractor will be paid twelve dollars ($12) per cubic yard for the excess. However, no deductions will be made in case the aggregate of concrete actually placed in the foundations is less than the estimated

amount. [Italics ours.] When the rock line, as indicated on the drawings, was reached on the Columbia Island side, no bedrock was discovered, but there was encountered a bed of gravel and boulders which was unsuitable for foundations. Plaintiffs were ordered to continue digging. When about 7 feet had been further excavated, decomposed rock was uncovered. This was ordered to be dug into until at about 21/2 feet deeper plaintiffs were ordered to clean the rock and pour concrete, without having reached bedrock. On the Virginia side when the rock line, as indicated on the drawings, was reached, it was found that this rock was not bedrock but decomposed rock and it was necessary to excavate to an average of 91/2 feet below the point indicated on the drawings where rock was supposed to be reached. The specifications allowed a variation of 5 feet either way. Bedrock was not found, but, after the depth above indicated had been reached, the contracting officer determined that a suf

Opinion of the Court

ficient bearing surface could be had by pouring concrete into the excavation. This unexpected depth was plainly anticipated in paragraph 4 of Article 34 which provided :

If, due to unexpected depths to bedrock, the aggregate amount of concrete actually placed in the foundations shall exceed the amount as estimated from the contract drawings, the contractor will be paid twelve

dollars ($12) per cubic yard for the excess. Plaintiffs claim that, due to this condition, they were put to heavy additional expenses, prolonged delays were occasioned, and their whole schedule of progress was thrown out of line. However, the plaintiffs did not furnish schedules of progress either before or after commencing work, as were required by the contract and repeatedly requested by the de fendant. The contention is made that this condition amounted to "changed conditions” which fell under Article 4 of the contract and not under Article 34 of the Specifications. Article 34 plainly covered a situation that might otherwise be embraced in other provisions of the contract relating to changed conditions. The conditions which arose were specifically provided for as "unexpected” under Arti. cle 34 of the Specifications. The depths to bedrock were unexpected and compensation was likewise specifically provided for in such a contingency.

The contracting officer (Findings 9 and 25) determined the amount of extra concrete to be paid for and allowed plaintiff's $19,922.40 at the rate provided for under Article 34 of the Specifications. The yardage which had been paid for as an extra was to be the difference between that actually poured and that provided in the contract drawings. This was in the contracting officer's province to determine, and, having determined it, and paid for it, no more is allowable.

The expense of excavating below the rock line of the drawings was incurred in order to get down to bedrock. As Article 34 of the Specifications plainly provided for the contingency of unexpected depths, and the bidders, on reading that Article, were made aware of the contingency, nothing can be recovered to make up for the lack of foresight in calculating the bid so as to include the contingency Opinion of the Court of unexpected depths. There can be no recovery for extra excavation beyond that allowed by the contracting officer. This disposes both of the direct and indirect expenses for rock and gravel excavations and prevents recovery of all items set forth in Findings 7, 8, and 9.

Plaintiffs were allowed $53,991.34 for the rock and gravel excavations for abutments, piers, cylinders, and incidental bracing and shoring. (Finding 25.) This allowed the contractors basic cost plus 15% thereof to cover overhead and profit and 172% on the aggregate for cost of bond. This was in strict compliance with Article 48. Plaintiffs contend that they should receive payment under Article 4, which provides for “changed conditions,” and that an equitable adjustment should be made, in which event, they would be entitled to the difference between what it cost the plaintiffs and the contract price. The cost to the plaintiffs was not necessarily an equitable adjustment. There might be charges included excessive in their nature and uncalled for in their character. The contracting officer computed the amount of cost from the daily reports on labor and material furnished by the plaintiffs and made the adjustments in accordance with Article 48. Plaintiffs received compensation for rock excavation in the Virginia abutment, piers, and cylinders. They also received payment for the excavation of the gravel and the bracing and shoring on the Columbia Island cofferdam below rock line and also for extra concrete foundations, in all, the sum of seventyodd thousand dollars. Thus, having reached this conclusion with respect to the Government's liability for excess excavation, the item for extra pile lengths is eliminated. (Finding 17.)


The contract drawings showed a wall to be erected at the East end, known as the East End Wall, which was designed to support the deck of the bridge and not as a retaining wall. The drawings showed back filling on one side of the wall only, whereas there should have been filling on both sides. The plaintiff followed explicitly the drawings, plans, and specifications, and back filled on one side of the wall only. Opinion of the Court As a result of this back filling on one side, the wall bulged and cracked and the bottom moved out of line some seven inches and the top some ten inches. To an experienced engineer, the error in the drawings would have been apparent and it was the duty of the contractors, with such a glaring error in the drawings, to notify the contracting officer before proceeding with the work. The attention of the defendant was not called to the situation until after the wall had moved out of line and then the plaintiffs were called upon and required to move the wall back in place. The extra expense to the plaintiffs was $5,060.67 and a claim is made for this additional expense.

Article 7 of the Specifications, provides that the contractor will not be allowed to take advantage of any errors or omissions in the specifications or in the contract drawings as full instructions will always be given if such errors or omissions are discovered. It was the duty of the contractors, under this article of the specifications, to have called the attention of the contracting officer to this error or omission in the drawings before the work of back filling was commenced. If this had been done, a correction could have been made, or, if not made, the Government would have been liable for the damage. The damage resulted because of the failure of the contractors to carry out Article 7 of the Specifications. It was such a glaring error in engineering construction that the contracting officer was entitled to have his attention called to it by the contractors. There can be no recovery on this item.


Certain of the stones furnished by the Government were not fully cut and finished and ready for setting. Plaintiffs provided this work at a cost of $80.41 and make claim for reimbursement. Under the provisions of the Specifications, Article 89 (quoted in Finding No. 2), the Government was to furnish stones provided, generally, with proper holes before delivery to the contractors, all others to be cut at the contractors' expense. Certain of the stones were lacking the proper holes. This omission it was the obligation of the contractors to supply at their own expense, which they did. There can be no recovery on this item.

Opinion of the Court

The Government furnished a piece of bullnose granite which, after having been set, was rejected by the Government for defectiveness. The plaintiffs were required by the contracting officer to remove this granite and to place in its stead another piece. This was the fault of the Government in furnishing a defective piece of granite and entailed additional work on the part of the plaintiffs. The Government ordered the work performed and has received the benefit of it. The cost to the plaintiffs was $94.56 and this amount they are entitled to recover.


During the course of the work, a fire broke out and destroyed property belonging to the plaintiffs and delayed the work. After the fire the contracting officer required the plaintiffs to provide adequate fire protection. The plaintiffs furnished certain fire apparatus and now make claim for reimbursement. Under Article 10 of the contract it is provided :

The contractor shall, without additional expense to the Government, obtain all required licenses and permits and be responsible for all damages to persons or property that occur as a result of his fault or negligence in connection with the prosecution of the work, and shall be responsible for the proper care and protection of all materials delivered and work performed

until completion and final acceptance. Under this provision it was the duty of the contractors to provide proper fire protection and therefore no recovery can be had on this item.


It is conceded that the plaintiffs are entitled to recover for the cost of brass washers furnished by them in the amount of $25.00.


Under the contract provisions the Government was to furnish carved Eagles as finials of the two pylons at the

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