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Avoid These Costly Mistakes on Public Infrastructure Projects

Public infrastructure is the backbone of global economic activity, facilitating the delivery of a wide variety of services across the globe. Between 2013 and 2030, the projected global GDP growth will require an estimated $57 trillion spent on infrastructure investment alone. That’s nearly 60 percent more than the $36 trillion spent over the past 18 years, even without including costs like clearing maintenance backlogs or meeting development goals in emerging countries. However, while many large-scale public infrastructure projects have stood the test of time and enhanced the lives of millions of people, there are hundreds of thousands of others that either never got built, were deemed obsolete, or generally were not successful. 

If we’re looking to boost productivity in the infrastructure sector, we need to familiarize ourselves with potential project pitfalls, such as cost underestimation, poor planning, and more. Below, we review just a few of the most costly mistakes that could result in the failure of your public infrastructure project. If your company has fallen prey to one of these mistakes and you are currently embroiled in a lengthy construction dispute, don’t wait to reach out to a Ft. Myers construction arbitration lawyer.

Related: Only the Construction Industry Can Stop the Infrastructure Crisis

Cost Overruns

Just like any construction project, public infrastructure projects are not immune to cost overruns. Any mistake during the planning phase aspect of the project, which is where financial modeling and cost estimation takes place, could lead to cost overruns down the line. A common cause of this mistake, for example, occurs when engineering and construction professionals use incomplete designs for the cost estimate, resulting in incorrect material quantities. Inexperienced project development teams may also produce outdated or inaccurate rates for labor or equipment in the cost estimate unknowingly. 

To prevent this mistake, it’s your responsibility to perform your due diligence in the preconstruction phase and be accurate and realistic about project deadlines and costs. Express any concerns regarding the budget or timeline of the project outright, rather than face the consequences down the line. You should also have a risk management plan in place in the event that a cost overrun does occur.

Related: How to Prevent Construction Cost Overruns

Construction and Design Errors

Failure on the design or construction aspect of the process can trigger on-site disruption, lengthy delays, schedule overruns, and additional costs. Design failures typically occur as a result of poor interface management between design packages, a lack of a thorough requirements analysis, and inadequacy of the design strategy. Errors of this type almost always require some sort of redesign and replacement of a component part. Omissions must be remedied through an addition to the contractor’s scope of work via a change order. 

Construction failures, on the other hand, may occur as a result of a variety of factors, from incorrect work procedures being followed to incorrect materials being used. Safety incidents and incomplete inspections are a frequent cause for delays as well. To prevent this, you’ll need to ensure your crew is working from the latest revisions of construction documents and that you have solid construction site safety management in place. If someone has already been injured on one of your projects, the clock is ticking on the time you have to contact a Ft. Myers construction arbitration lawyer.

Related: How Contractors Can Mitigate Design Risks

Contractor-Induced Delays

As previously discussed, there’s a wide variety of reasons that could cause a schedule delay on a large-scale public infrastructure project, including owner-induced delays and contractor-induced delays. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on contractor-induced delays. Physical progress will almost always fall behind schedule if the assumed contractor productivity factors cannot be achieved, which may result in the contractor having to pay the project owner for delay damages.

This is the last thing we want to see, which is why construction professionals need to steer clear of the following risk factors like poor planning. You never want to be left waiting for construction resources as a result of failure to provide adequate quantities of materials, equipment, or people. That’s why it’s best to largely steer away from creating any type of construction schedule with assumed productivity factors like steel erection rates per hour or day. If you’re facing a dispute as a result of a contractor-induced delay on your public infrastructure project, get in touch with a Ft. Myers construction dispute lawyer as soon as possible.

Related: Mitigating Project Delays Before They Get Out of Control

Supply Chain Breakdown

Finally, the last costly mistake we’ll be covering in today’s article is a breakdown in the supply chain — a common problem that frequently results in significant schedule risk to public infrastructure projects across North America. The cause of this failure can be linked back to late payments to subcontractors and suppliers that exacerbates stress throughout the supply chain and forces small to medium enterprises to find working capital from financial institutions or go out of business. Even if they’re able to bridge cash flow through this manner, they’ll suffer from increased operational costs and reduced profits as a result.

To reduce some of the risk factors for this mistake, it’s a good idea to only partner with reputable vendors that you know are capable of delivering resources to the construction site in a timely manner. A formal vendor qualification process could mitigate these risks as well. Should you need any further assistance establishing a process of this kind or finding reputable vendors within your area, don’t hesitate to contact a Ft. Myers construction lawyer.

If you would like to speak with one of our Ft. Myers construction lawyers, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.