Recently, I was helping a contractor draft an extra work claim on a local public agency job. I asked what edition of the Greenbook was incorporated into the contract, the reply: “2015.”

Later I got a copy of the General Provisions of the contract; they said that the 2018 Greenbook was incorporated into the contract. So, I asked the contractor, “Where did you get the 2015 Greenbook as being the right one?” The response, “We used the 2015 edition because that’s the only one we had; the 2018 edition disappeared from the office a while back.”

I was astonished. Regardless of what Greenbook version was used to bid the job, the contractor was bound to what was called out in the 2018 Greenbook. There were major changes from the 2015 to the 2018 editions. An example: Section 5 – Utilities in the 2015 book, which specified who was responsible for extra work and delays resulting from utility lines not shown on the plans, was relocated as new Section 402 – Utilities, and slightly revised. There were lots of other changes from the 2015 book to the 2018 book.

There are also lots of changes from the 2018 Greenbook to the 2021 Greenbook. For example, in Part 2, CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS, the 2021 Greenbook has new sections 200-1.6, Rock for Slope and Erosion Protection (Riprap), 200-1.7, Aggregate for Slurry Seal Surfacing, and 200-1.8, Aggregate for Microsurfacing. See also in PART 3, CONSTRUCTION METHODS, new sections, or major changes to, 300-11, Rock Slope and Erosion Protection (Riprap), 302-3, Microsurfacing, and 302-4, Slurry Seal Surfacing.

Greenbook pages with changes show where language was added or modified from the previous Greenbook by a vertical line next to the change in the left margin. In other words, the lines in the 2018 Greenbook show changes from the 2015 Greenbook, and those in the 2021 Greenbook show changes from the 2018 Greenbook.

Every contractor bidding on local public agency horizontal projects in southern California needs the current Greenbook – and probably the last edition, especially if the contractor has not been fully paid on past work. The 2021 Greenbook can be obtained at a reduced rate ($100 each) through the ECA. See the ad on page 14 of this issue, call in the order to 714/937-5000, fax it to 714/937-5030, or email it to [email protected].

By Barney Kamine, Kamine Construction Law – [email protected]