Case Closed

by Paul G. Swanson, P.E., (M.ASCE), Principal; Facility Engrg. Assocs., P.C., Fairfax, VA,
Thomas W. Larson, P.E., (M.ASCE), Principal; Facility Engrg. Assocs., P.C., Fairfax, VA,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2000, Vol. 70, Issue 6, Pg. 42-45


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: In June 1993, a massive sinkhole developed in a surface parking lot of a hotel facility in Georgia. The hole was a result of the soil erosion associated with a failed, 4-meter diameter combined sewer tunnel. Two fatalities occurred with the collapse. The subsequent forensic study uncovered a series of contributing factors, including a disregard for site history during the planning stage of the development, misapplication of a safety net, and a misinterpretation of the signs of impending failure in both the preventative maintenance inspections conducted by the city and forensic studies conducted by consultants immediately prior to the collapse.

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