A. Upon the completion of any contract for the construction of any state highway project awarded by the Board or by the Commissioner of Highways to any contractor, if the contractor fails to receive such settlement as he claims to be entitled to under the contract for himself or for his subcontractors or for persons furnishing materials for the contract for costs and expenses caused by the acts or omissions of the Department, he may, within 60 days after the final estimate date, deliver to the Department, through proper administrative channels as determined by the Department, a written claim for such amount to which he deems himself, his subcontractors, or his material persons entitled under the contract. The final estimate date shall be set forth in a letter from the Department to the contractor sent by certified mail. The claim shall set forth the facts upon which the claim is based, provided that written notice of the contractor’s intention to file such claim shall have been given to the Department at the time of the occurrence or beginning of the work upon which the claim and subsequent action is based. Within 90 days from receipt of such claim, the Department shall make an investigation and notify the claimant in writing by certified mail of its decision. The claimant and the Department may, however, mutually extend such 90-day period for another 30 days.
B. If dissatisfied with the decision, the claimant shall, within 30 days from receipt of the Department’s decision, notify the Commissioner of Highways, in writing, that he desires to appear before him, either in person or through counsel, and present any additional facts and arguments in support of his claim as previously filed.
C. The Commissioner of Highways shall schedule such appearance to be held within 30 days of receiving the claimant’s written request. The claimant and the Commissioner of Highways may, however, mutually agree to schedule such appearance to be held after 30 days but before 60 days from the receipt of the claimant’s written request.
D. Within 45 days from the date of the appearance before him, the Commissioner of Highways shall make an investigation of the claim and notify the contractor in writing of his decision. The claimant and the Commissioner of Highways may, however, mutually agree to extend such 45-day period for another 30 days. If the Commissioner of Highways deems that all or any portion of a claim is valid, he shall have the authority to negotiate a settlement with the contractor, but any such settlement shall be subject to the provisions of § 2.2-514.
E. Failure of the Department or the Commissioner of Highways to render a decision within the time period specified in subsections A and D, or within such other period as has been mutually agreed upon as provided in this section, shall be deemed a denial of the claim.If the Commissioner of Highways determines that a claim has been denied as the result of an administrative oversight, then the Department reserves the right to reconsider the claim.
1976, c. 230, § 33.1-386; 1982, c. 320; 1991, c. 691; 1994, c. 67; 2001, c. 175; 2007, c. 162; 2014, c. 805.