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Contractor is responsible for delivering the project on time. If there is delay from the contractor then the contractor can choose to accelerate schedule at their own cost or pay liquidated damages. However, if the delays are due to owner's action/inaction or beyond contractor's control then contractor should notify the owner immediately, document them and request for time extension. For the contractor, it is critical to submit time extension requests in a timely manner. If not submitted timely then there is the possibility of delays getting connected and complex to assign clear responsibility.

The Owner has some obligation to review and approve the Contractor's schedule and closely review periodic updates to it during construction. Failure to do this may jeopardize timely project completion. More opportunely - review of the Contractor's progress should be handled in house, however, there are experienced consultants that can do this for the Owner. The Owner must also accept the responsibility of delays caused by inaction or slow response times on the Owner's part. The delays noted at the end of cited federal project probably occurred incrementally throughout the project, but were only noted as the completion date approached. Liquidated damages are not an effective way to ensure timely project completion. We have found that punitive damages create a negative environment at the most critical point of the project – completion. It remains the Contractor’s obligation to document and communicate delays as they occur during the project in accordance with the contract.

Great article. The contractor should keep track of all delays during the project,- no matter who they're caused by, and continually update his schedule. Small delays over the course of time can impact various trades and the completion date.

The contractor is obligated to complete the project on schedule. The owner would only be responsible for costs associated with accelerating the work if the owner was responsible for causing the delay in the first place.
Also, its always be my understanding that liquidated damages are not supposed to be punitive, but are supposed to bear some reasonable relation to the damage incurred by the delay.

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