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Appealed from: United States Court of Federal Claims Judge Lynn J. Bush

Plaintiff-Appellant P.R. Burke Corp. (“Burke”) appeals from a decision granting the government partial summary judgment and holding the government not liable for any delay damages arising from Burke’s contract to repair and improve a sewage treatment plant. See P.R. Burke v. United States, 47 Fed. Cl. 340 (2000). As more fully discussed below, the United States Court of Federal Claims rejected Burke’s argument that the contract language requiring the plant to “remain in operation” during contract performance nevertheless allowed Burke to shut down the plant’s “trickling filter.” In addition, the court found that Burke was responsible for the delay for which it seeks damages. See id. at 353.

We agree with both conclusions of the trial court. We also agree with the trial court’s holdings that Burke’s contract interpretation was unreasonable and any ambiguity among different contract provisions was patent. Further, we hold that even assuming the government alone did cause any of the delays between the time when Burke received the contract and the time when it actually began to perform, that delay was necessary, in due exercise of a contract right, not excessively long under the circumstances and thus reasonable. For this reason, too, the government is not liable for delay damages. We therefore affirm.

 
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