The Case of the Bungled Bridge Rehab

by Robert A. Rubin, Partner; Postner & Rubin, New York, N.Y.,
Eugene H. Goldberg, Wilson, Elser, Edelman & Dicker, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 6, Pg. 43-45

Document Type: Feature article


Foundation failures and rehabilitations concern the owner, the engineer and the contractor. These parties face liability to one another as well as to third parties. There are contractual obligations among the parties, potential liability for negligence, and special burdens where the construction involves ultra-hazardous activities and innovative designs. Contractual indemnities, manufacturers' warranties, bonding and insurance can shift or reallocate risks and liabilities. Due consideration of risks should be given before foundation design or construction is undertaken. The risks should be clearly defined and fairly allocated in the contract documents between the parties. This article presents a hypothetical case study of a bridge foundation failure.

Subject Headings: Bridge foundations | Foundation design | Liability | Case studies | Bridges | Rehabilitation | Bridge failures | Failure analysis

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