Source: https://nypost.com, April 3, 2019
By: Priscilla DeGregory and Tamar Lapin
Forget Pisa — New York has the leaning tower of South Street.
A brand-new, 58-story condo in the Financial District is listing north like a drunken investment banker due to a faulty foundation — a defect that could cause bits of the tower to fall to the street, a Manhattan civil suit claims.
The 3-inch tilt to the north on 161 Maiden Lane was caused by cost-cutting measures on the part of the developer, Fortis Property Group, claims the lawsuit, filed by project contractor Pizzarotti.
Fortis allegedly opted not to drive piles into the soft ground of the site by South Street Seaport on the East River before it laid the foundation, saving them $6 million, the suit alleges. “The building structure has settled and moved to such a degree that the structure is encroaching on a neighboring property line,” according to the papers filed last month in Manhattan Supreme Court.…
Source: https://commercialobserver.com, April 2, 2019
By: Rebecca Baird-Remba
A Financial District condominium tower is leaning, and the contractor on the project claims the developer is to blame.
The 670-foot-tall, 58-story apartment building under construction at 161 Maiden Lane is leaning three inches to the north, according to a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court by the project’s contractor, Pizzarotti. An off-kilter foundation is affecting the building’s structural integrity, facade, waterproofing and elevators, the recent suit argues.
Developer Fortis Property Group, working with a previous general contractor, opted not to drive piles into the soft ground of the site by South Street Seaport on the East River before it laid the foundation because Fortis wanted to save money, the contractor claims in the suit. Instead, Pizarrotti alleges, Fortis decided to use a cheaper “soil improvement” method, which involves compacting and draining the damp earth to make it more stable.…
Source: https://www.sfgate.com, February 20, 2019
Two San Francisco residents filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the construction company and contractors involved in a gas line rupture that caused a three-alarm fire earlier this month on Geary Boulevard.
According to the suit, plaintiffs Carina Kouyoumji and Nora Wixom are suing Mastec Services Company Inc.; Mastec Renewables Construction Company Inc.; Kilford Engineering Inc.; and Advanced Fiber Works Inc. Verizon Communications Inc. has also been named as a defendant.
Both plaintiffs live in one of the five buildings badly damaged by the Feb. 6 fire, which ignited after workers installing fiber optic lines near Geary Boulevard and Parker Avenue struck a PG&E gas line.
The lawsuit alleges the explosion was a direct result of the defendants’ “reckless and willful violation of California law of using a backhoe to dig a trench near subsurface installations.”
The California Government Code requires anyone excavating near a subsurface installation, such as a gas line, to use hand tools like a shovel.
The defendants are also accused of being negligent, causing a nuisance and trespassing.…
By: Laura Layden
Tony Conte is tired of dealing with construction defects at his part-time home in Paseo.
While fixes have been made at his condominium, some projects have dragged out, leaving him frustrated.
Planks of wood reinforce his second-story balcony — and the manager of the Fort Myers community told him that it’s unsafe to use and not to walk on it, although Conte has to step on it to go in or out of his front door.
“We’ve had a dramatic spate of water intrusion issues, which were the first indications there was something wrong,” Conte said.
The developer, Naples-based Stock Development LLC, and its sister company Stock Construction, have filed multiple lawsuits and sued a laundry list of companies over the defects, from the architects to the roofers.
One of Stock’s lawsuits names more than 13 defendants, including RDL Architects Inc., based in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Gulf Western Roofing & Sheet Metal in Bonita Springs. The claims in the suit range from negligence to breach of contract and from violations of the Florida building code to breach of warranty.…
Source: http://www.alaskastar.com, February 12, 2019
By: Matt Tunseth
Engineers had serious questions about whether Gruening Middle School could withstand a powerful earthquake from the time the school was built, according to a collection of news stories written about the school’s troubled construction in the early 1980s.
“A major earthquake would produce significant damage and a possible partial collapse,” at the school, California engineering firm Forell/Elsesser Engineers Inc. wrote in a 1983 report to the Anchorage School District.
The firm was commissioned by the district after consultants determined the building — which was supposed to open in the fall of 1983 — was seriously flawed, news stories said. An investigation found errors in the engineering calculations and pointed out that the plans for the school didn’t receive oversight from Anchorage building inspectors, who some Eagle River builders resisted at the time. The district eventually retrofitted the school (which opened to students in 1984), but Forell/Elsesser warned inherent design flaws would likely always be an issue.
“It is not possible to overcome all deficiencies without major and costly reconstruction,” the company wrote.…
Source: https://www.floridabulldog.org, February 6, 2019
By: Dan Christensen
Two months after last year’s fatal FIU pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami, the company that built the bridge was responsible for a troubling construction failure at Port Everglades.
Munilla Construction Management LLC, which operates as MCM, was hired by Broward County in 2016 as the prime contractor for the Slip 2 expansion project at the north end of the port. The $18-million project, completed in August 2017, saw low-bidder MCM extend the length of the slip about 250 feet to the west and deepen it 50 feet to accommodate larger cruise and cargo ships.
Last May 4, however, something unexpected happened.
“One of the new fenders that MCM installed along Berth 4 fell off the wall this morning and into the Slip,” a port representative told an MCM manager in an email obtained by Florida Bulldog. “We have already fished it out, and brought it back over to the storage yard, and temporarily hung a tire in that vicinity…This is now causing the Port to be concerned about the other fenders that MCM installed.”…
Source: https://www.enr.com, February 6, 2019
By: Scott Van Voorhis and Richard Korman
With land surveys, contractors often expect some information will be missing. But how much? Fifteen years ago, El Paso Corp. decided to replace a 68-mile-long pipeline with a new one that would carry butane from Corpus Christi, Texas, to inland Air Force bases. The energy company hired a Houston-based survey mapping firm to draw the route with rivers, roads and crossing rights of way. In all, the mapping company counted 280 survey crossings included in the bid package. No one pretended the count was final, and El Paso encouraged potential bidders to do their own survey.
Coral Gables, Fla.-based MasTec, at that time a newcomer to pipeline projects, hired an industry veteran who conducted a flyover of the route, but much was missed, court documents show. MasTec submitted a bid of $3.69 million, well below the average bid of $8.1 million. It signed a contract in 2003 where it took the risk for overruns.
In the end, MasTec had to contend with more than 794 unknown crossings in the pipeline route and the extra welding that would be required, and it sued to recover its losses.…
Source: https://www.businessreport.com, February 4, 2019
By: Stephanie Riegel
The Texas subcontractor blamed in recent court filings for the structural failure that has stalled the under-construction downtown library for nearly 10 months now is denying culpability and pointing the finger at a Mississippi engineering firm.
In court documents filed January 29, Houston-based Structural Consultants Associates, Inc.—which was blamed in early January for the structural failure by the library’s architect and project manager, WHLC— says Meridien-based Carter Miller Associates Ltd. prepared shop drawings for structural steel connections used in the project “that contained errors. … As a result … there was a failure of certain structural steel connections at the project.”
SCA also suggests construction on the project could have resumed months ago but that WHLC is intentionally stalling. SCA says as far back as April 30 it notified WHLC it would be safe for general contractor Buquet and Leblanc to resume “light duty construction activities” but that no remediation work began. In mid-May, SCA issued another letter to WHLC, giving Buquet and Leblanc the go-ahead to resume full construction activities.…
Source: https://www.chieftain.com, October 17, 2018
The general contractor that managed San Francisco’s troubled $2 billion transit terminal is suing the agency in charge of the project alleging faulty design and mismanagement.
The joint venture of Webcor Builders and Obayashi Corp. filed the lawsuit Tuesday in San Francisco. It alleges design and planning mistakes sent construction soaring and led to overruns that cost the company $150 million.
The Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which operates the Salesforce Transit Center, denied the allegations in a statement Wednesday and said it would hold the contractor responsible for its commitment to deliver the project.
The contractor said it submitted 12,000 requests for information and 1,603 change order requests to officials during construction of the terminal in downtown San Francisco.
The contractor also alleged that tardy responses added to the rising costs.
The project has been mired in litigation.
In May, the engineering firm Skanska USA sued Webcor, saying the contractor’s alleged shoddy instructions led to cost overruns. In addition, the owners of a nearby high-rise apartment building that is sinking and tilting sued the agency. The owners of the Millennium Tower blame the transit center construction project for the building’s tilt.
The terminal opened in Aug. 12 after ten years of planning and construction. It closed a month later after cracks were found in two steel support beams. Agency officials said they don’t when the new terminal will be re-opened.
“Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com, November 15, 2018
By: Milton J. Valencia
Federal investigators Thursday singled out a Columbia Gas engineer with “limited knowledge” for errors in drafting work plans for a Lawrence construction site, setting in motion a chain of events that led to the Sept. 13 natural gas explosions that killed one man and left thousands without heat and hot water.
In the most detailed accounting to date of the catastrophe, the National Transportation Safety Board identified a series of missteps by the utility at the planning stages for a gas main replacement project in South Lawrence. The agency recommended “urgent” steps to increase oversight within the company and at the state level.
The NTSB investigators have focused on the replacement project and the failure of the engineer planning that job to account for a critical sensor in a line that was being replaced. Once the line was disconnected, the sensor detected a loss in gas pressure that caused the system to pump a huge amount of gas into live lines, leading to more than 120 fires and explosions across Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover, the report found.
“The Columbia Gas field engineer who developed the engineering plans told NTSB investigators that he developed them without reviewing engineering drawings that documented the regulator-sensing lines,” the NTSB said in its report.…