Alternative project delivery, procurement, and contracting by Keith R Molenaar; Gerald Yakowenko; Construction Institute.;

By Keith R Molenaar; Gerald Yakowenko; Construction Institute.; Construction Research Council (Washington, D.C.)

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2d 1281 (1983) On April 23, 1979, the Florida Department of Transportation entered into a contract with Jasper Construction Co. to construct a portion of Interstate 75. The standard specifications for road and bridge construction were a part of the contract. In accordance with Sec. 6 of the specifications, Jasper elected to subject the freight costs for coarse aggregate to the rate adjustment provisions found in Sec. 5(c). 1 General: Except as provided herein for certain railroad freight rates, no allowance or deduction will be made for any increase or decrease in common carrier rates or transportation costs on materials .

In this situation, a court must apply a tiebreaker rule. Common law provides the following rule: In choosing among reasonable meanings of a promise or agreement or a term thereof, that meaning is generally preferred which operates against the party who supplies the words from whom a writing otherwise proceeds. (Patterson 1964) The rationale is that the drafting party failed to express the desired intent clearly and that the drafting party is more likely to provide more 30 Interpreting Construction Contracts carefully for the protection of its own interests.

An interpretation that upholds the validity of a contract is favored. An interpretation that promotes good faith and fair dealing is favored. An interpretation that promotes performance is favored over one that would hinder performance. There can be other standards. An explanation of each standard listed above is given below. The fourth and fifth standards are combined. Reasonable Interpretation A reasonable interpretation is preferred to one that is unreasonable. An interpretation should be given a meaning that would be adopted by a reasonably intelligent person acquainted with all operative usages and knowing all of the circumstances before and at the time of the making of the agreement (Corpus Juris Secundum 1963, Sec.

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