Section 39N: Construction contracts; equitable adjustment in contract price for differing subsurface or latent physical conditions
Section 39N. Every contract subject to section forty-four A of chapter one hundred and forty-nine or subject to section thirty-nine M of chapter thirty shall contain the following paragraph in its entirety and an awarding authority may adopt reasonable rules or regulations in conformity with that paragraph concerning the filing, investigation and settlement of such claims:
If, during the progress of the work, the contractor or the awarding authority discovers that the actual subsurface or latent physical conditions encountered at the site differ substantially or materially from those shown on the plans or indicated in the contract documents either the contractor or the contracting authority may request an equitable adjustment in the contract price of the contract applying to work affected by the differing site conditions. A request for such an adjustment shall be in writing and shall be delivered by the party making such claim to the other party as soon as possible after such conditions are discovered. Upon receipt of such a claim from a contractor, or upon its own initiative, the contracting authority shall make an investigation of such physical conditions, and, if they differ substantially or materially from those shown on the plans or indicated in the contract documents or from those ordinarily encountered and generally recognized as inherent in work of the character provided for in the plans and contract documents and are of such a nature as to cause an increase or decrease in the cost of performance of the work or a change in the construction methods required for the performance of the work which results in an increase or decrease in the cost of the work, the contracting authority shall make an equitable adjustment in the contract price and the contract shall be modified in writing accordingly.