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Florida Construction Law Blog

3 firms bidding on Tampa Bay bridge project

According to the state Department of Transportation (FDOT), there are three construction firms on their short list to design and construct the $814 million bridge over Old Tampa Bay. The span will be adjacent to the present I-275 Howard Frankland Bridge linking St. Petersburg with Tampa.

Firms on the short list include joint ventures of Massman Construction Co. and Kiewit Infrastructure South, Traylor Bros. and Archer Western Construction and Boh Bros. Construction and Granite Construction Co.

How can a contractor keep drugs out of the workforce?

If you're a South Florida contractor, you can't afford to let a drugged-out construction crew jeopardize your company's reputation and results. Employee drug use puts the entire crew at risk of injury (or worse) and can increase the possibility of legal action being taken against the company.

Drugged-out workers affect the business in the following ways:

  • Lowered work performances
  • Higher worker turnover
  • Less productivity
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Tardiness
  • Rising workers' comp and medical
  • Enhanced likelihood of workplace violence and/or crime

Warning signs of difficult construction clients

The construction industry has seen its fair share of criticism throughout Florida and the rest of the country. Contractors tend to get a bad rap because of one or two bad eggs.

But, what about the clients who cause problems for contractors? If you are a contractor you need to be on the lookout for the following warning signs of a difficult construction client.

Will a noncompete construction clause hold up in court?

Almost every industry uses some version of a noncompete contract to protect its customer databases and proprietary information from being siphoned off by competitors. The problem arises when those contracts are deemed to be too broad or otherwise unenforceable by the courts.

In the construction industry where workers are hired and dismissed routinely from projects, no court is going to rule that a noncompete contract is valid for day-laborers or carpenters. However, positions like project managers and other white collar jobs bring employees into contact with vulnerable information and profitability figures that could sink a company if it falls into the wrong pair of hands.

4-year bridge project began this week

If you are a South Florida contractor, chances are good that you didn't need to read it in the Miami Herald to know that a large bridge reconstruction project was about to get underway.

This week began the complex redesign of Interstate 395. The first part of the sprawling project is expected to cost $800 million and involves portions of State Road 836 and Interstate 95.

Developers, permits and regulations: Oh my!

If you are a developer in South Florida, it is possible to run afoul of regulations put in place to protect the vulnerable wetlands that make up so much of the region. As any homebuilder knows, that's a quick ticket to many legal problems that are far easier avoided in the first place.

The abundance of wetland areas can present a challenge to South Florida developers who want to always remain on the right side of the law. The permit process can be both lengthy and costly, and it is important to get it right the first time to save hassles and expense down the road.

Toxic mold a nightmare for contractors

Contractors can face liability claims for toxic mold in the structures they build. These claims can be expensive to remedy, but the homes and businesses may not be able to be occupied unless the mold is eradicated.

As with most construction law disputes, it is far easier to prevent mold than to remove its source. A contractor may need to trace the source of the mold exposure through the supply chain of subcontractors. This can be quite time-consuming and costly, as few subcontractors will readily admit that they dropped the ball.

How can I prevent a construction dispute?

A nasty construction dispute can imperil the reputation of your business. A common theme in many of these matters is that the disputes could have been easily avoided with proper planning and oversight.

Any construction project is going to have many moving parts. From suppliers to subcontractors, there are plenty of opportunities for miscommunications to arise that create hindrances to progress.

New changes released in construction contracts

Late last month, the American Institute of Architects released more than a dozen revised and new contracts they claim will better represent "trends and nuances" in the construction industry. An AIA executive announced that these changes will "ensure the design and construction industries are working under the best agreements possible for their businesses."

Revisions and changes include options for subcontractors and contractors to set conditions and terms for agreements to include multiple spheres of work. They also released updated documents they feel will more clearly address any legal issues that crop up in business relationships and joint ventures.

City of Boca Raton sued by developers

Last month, a local property management and real estate firm filed suit against the city of Boca Raton. Petitioners allege that the city refused to approve rules for the addition of as many as 2,500 new apartments and condos around the Town Center mall.

Crocker Partners seeks $137.6 million in damages for their losses. They allege that the City Council voted to reject the development of Midtown Boca, which diminishes the value of Crocker's already existing properties in addition to the value of the vacant land. Plaintiffs allege that this particular dispute decreased the value of the 67 acres owned by the company.

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