Before beginning work, it’s important to know how you can secure payment – whether that be through a mechanics lien or a bond claim. Determining if a project can be liened is usually as simple as deciding whether it’s a public or private project. Then again, with the rise of P3s and other creative project formats, that may not be an easy decision. One area where this line may be blurred is with coastal restoration work. So, can you lien coastal restoration work in Louisiana?
Louisiana Coastal Restoration Work
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the state agencies that handled coastal restoration and hurricane protection were consolidated as the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (“CPRA”) and backed by unprecedented support. The CPRA releases a new plan of action every 5 years, and one was released earlier this year (which can be found here). It recommends that 124 projects be adopted which would either build or maintain over 800 miles of coastal land.
The CPRA website is a great source for more information on Louisiana coastal restoration work.
Can The Work Be Liened?
The difference between public and private projects is usually pretty easy to determine. If the underlying property is owned by a private person or company, it will be a private project (and subject to liens). When the property is owned by a federal, state, or municipal entity, it will be public (and liens will not be available). But when a P3 project is in play, or when there’s some other combination of public and private work and funds, it may be harder to determine what’s the protection.
Luckily, it looks like payment bonds will be present on all coastal restoration work done by the CPRA- the project specifications for each project on the CPRA’s Contracts & Procurement page require both payment and performance bonds. However, it appears that both bonds and liens may be available to secure payment.
The projects on CPRA’s website contemplate that liens may be filed on these projects – the specs for each project actually contain a “Liens” section. So many, if not all, of the authority’s projects are likely lienable. However, when liens are present on these projects, some payments to the general contractor will be withheld. That contractor may then bond off any liens in order to receive payment. This means that even when coastal restoration work is lienable, a lienor could find themselves dealing with a surety bond claim anyway.
Head over to our Louisiana Lien and Notice FAQs for more on Louisiana liens.
While liens may be available for coastal restoration work, those subs and suppliers performing work should be ready to file bond claims. Payment bonds appear to be available for all CPRA projects, and general contractors will probably bond off any lien claims in order to receive their final payments. In any event, the idea of liening coastal restoration work is a funny one – often, these projects are building/improving barrier islands. So in theory, a lien claimant would be posting a lien on land they actually brought into existence.