Source: http://www.latimes.com, April 17, 2017
By: Ralph Vartabedian
Design flaws, construction shortcomings and maintenance errors caused the Oroville Dam spillway to break apart in February, according to an independent analysis by Robert Bea for the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at UC Berkeley.
Bea, a co-founder of the center and retired civil engineering professor, found that in the 1960s, when the dam was being planned, designers did not call for a thick enough concrete spillway floor. Nor did they require the continuous steel reinforcement needed to keep its slabs intact during decades of service.
The design also did not require strong enough anchors into the underlying mountainside to resist movements downhill and from side to side.
The analysis is the first major assessment of what caused the massive damage that forced the evacuation of nearby Oroville and left the state with a repair bill likely to reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
It also sends a warning that the state’s aging fleet of dams may contain unknown defects that would threaten public safety in future wet years.
California Department of Water Resources spokeswoman Erin Mellon said the agency has not seen Bea’s analysis.…
Source: https://therealdeal.com, April 17, 2017
By: Francisco Alvarado
An Aventura-based architecture firm allegedly left McKafka Development Group hanging, delaying construction on its 90-unit high-rise called the Crimson in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood, according to a lawsuit.
McKafka, through its limited liability company Alpine Estates, accuses International Design Engineering and Architecture, or I.D.E.A. for short, of breaching its contract and negligence, in the lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last month.
Stephane L’ecuyer, I.D.E.A.’s principal, did not return two phone messages seeking comment. McKafka principal Stephan Gietl also did not respond to The Real Deal, but his lawyer Bruce King said, “We had several discussions to get a resolution and have been unable to do so.” He declined further comment.
According to the lawsuit, McKafka hired I.D.E.A. on Feb. 8, 2013 as the architect of record and Facchina Construction of Florida as the general contractor for the Crimson. However, the architecture firm performed poorly, the lawsuit alleges. The Crimson, at 601 Northeast 27th Street, remains unfinished today.
“I.D.E.A. failed to timely coordinate with or respond to Facchina, prepared incomplete or inconsistent drawings and specifications, and failed to perform in a manner consistent with the design schedule,” the lawsuit states.
McKafka alleges that I.D.E.A. also failed to timely respond to requests for information, change order requests, or provide staff to ensure continuity of service. In addition, according to the suit, I.D.E.A. improperly designed the garage ramps that led to substantial structural changes. The company also improperly designed the temperature control system, resulting in high humidity in the condo units, the lawsuit alleges.
Other significant revisions at the Crimson included the relocation of piles and beams and the redesigning of the height of the building’s stairs and the size of an emergency generator room, McKafka alleges. As a result of the repairs and revisions, the project was delayed and Facchina charged the developer for the delays, as well as additional construction costs, according to the suit.…
State Transportation Authority sued the geotechnical engineer, project engineer and construction manager on a $250,000,000 highway expansion project, following a catastrophic failure of a section of one of the bridges. Authority alleges that the pre-construction sub-surface geotechnical investigation was insufficient, and that the construction manager was negligent in its construction oversight duties. Asserted damages of $150,000,000 substantially exceed the available design professional insurance.
State Transportation Department sued the project engineer on a new bridge construction project after an expansion deck failure led to cost overruns and re-design costs. $2,000,000 claim amount exceeded civil engineer’s available professional liability coverage, which had been depleted by other claims. Matter settled for $1,000,000 above the design professional insurance.
Source: http://www.lohud.com, May 1, 2011
By: Jorge Fitz-Gibbon and Jonathan Bandler
Multimillion-dollar mistakes, design flaws and obstacles for which state engineers failed to account drove the cost of the Interstate 287 reconstruction up more than $67 million and delayed completion of the decade-long project by two years, a Journal News investigation reveals.
Taxpayers have spent more than $63 million per mile of construction, as much as twice the average of similar public road projects in the region.
While motorists endured lane closures and sat in stopped traffic, the two Yonkers construction companies that won all five of the lucrative state contracts for the reconstruction collected millions in additional salaries and costs during the state-sanctioned delays.…