Rumor-Surveyor’s faultPosted by MightyMoe on September 9, 2019 at 4:08 pm
There was a large construction project that spanned a couple of years. After completion a number of issues cropped up, some I’m dealing with. One was a bridge crossing that was launching vehicles as they crossed. That one I’m not dealing with.
Well the rumor was the surveyor staked it wrong, it was the point where the pavement for the highway meets the concrete bridge abutment. I was skeptical that it was the surveyor, turns out it wasn’t (again). I wonder how many times the surveyor gets blamed?
The fix was something I hadn’t heard of. A company came in and raised the end of the bridge somehow with an injection process, and a bit of grinding of the pavement and now it’s fixed. I heard it was a few $10,000 fix.
- 9 Replies
- MemberSeptember 9, 2019 at 4:18 pm
There was one near us where one of the bridge support assemblies was pounded in an inch too low, The solution was simple — shims.
I use cardboard for those around the house, but I hope DOT had something more substantial.
- MemberSeptember 9, 2019 at 4:37 pm
It is very easy to blame the surveyor and that is actually a policy of some companies to get extra money when the are the low bidder. Find any reason to blame the surveyor and it is a extra.
- MemberSeptember 9, 2019 at 5:30 pm
In FL the Surveyor is always blamed for anything that goes wrong. I recently received my second lawsuit in 3 years blaming me for building foundations cracking and using improper labor, supplies including wrong concrete psi when pouring (monolithic slab), stucco cracking, wrong size reinforcing rebar etc…….
All of this because I have the word “Foundation Survey” on my drawings.
Believe me it’s a royal pain trying to become excluded from a lawsuit. ????
- MemberSeptember 9, 2019 at 8:10 pm
There was once a one foot elevation blunder on a bridge crossing the Duwamish river in Seattle, the 1rst or 4th st. if memory serves, this being before my time. If the story is true the solution involved having concrete trucks from the nearby plant roll out fully loaded before their morning run to provide a counter balance to tip the bridge deck up into a position where cribbing could be put in place to aid in the fix.
=Total hearsay story never verified=
I find it a challenge to stay diligent and welcoming when people challenge my work after so many false alarms, but you never know when someone might see something you missed.
- MemberSeptember 9, 2019 at 11:49 pm
Back in the 1980s the company I was working for was blame for a difference in the grade on a major highway.
We were doing the south portion and another company was doing the north portion and when we met up at our end of contract Station, we differed by nearly 2ft.
Each company began going thru the BMs that the DOT had given us to use and which the first thing we did after getting the contract was to run back and forth thru their BMs to evaluate them ourselves.
Turned out that neither of us surveyors had erred, there was a bust that was not shown on any of the plans.
DOT simply revised the grade for a quarter-mile section of the highway at that location as it was a long straigh section and they made it fit by putting in an incline from our section to the other section.
Then 30yrs later on the same highway, when a loop is being built around one city the DOT and RR crossing, fails inspection because of a nearly 2ft but between grade plans and RR cars will not fit under overhead loop.
And the first they blamed was the surveyors.
Both times it was the same initial BM that was wrong and which had never been questioned as being wrong, checked with GPS or corrected.
Glad it was not on the end we were working on.
- MemberSeptember 10, 2019 at 12:31 am
We completed the topo and boundary for a $60m sewer plant. Part of the spec was to provide control that we did. Contractor talked to me about layout and went through all the insurances and timing. Double my e&o premium and kiss the schedule goodbye when they call… he the found a sheet with our control and said oh, never mind, I can do the layout. I felt like I dodged a bullet.
They were mostly done when I got the call. Your benchmarks are wrong, send a crew immediately.
I showed up with a notebook of comps. I quickly found the BM that was out. A drafter at the engineering firm transposed the numbers.
It gets better. The contractor was supposed to tie from bm 1 to BM 2 to bm 3 to make sure they had the right elevation. They skipped 1, held 2 (transposed) and adjusted 3.
We were paid to run a full as built of the plant.
- MemberSeptember 10, 2019 at 1:08 am
In the ’80s I worked for an engineering firm that updated the FEMA FIRMs here in Norman, OK. We did an extensive vertical control survey and determined the RM’s listed on the existing maps (back in the day when they were still around) and the USGS vertical control along the railroad (17 existing bronze tablets that fit one another relatively well) differed from each other by about 1 foot consistently.
The engineers had plenty of meetings with FEMA, the COE and the city officials. One or the other had to be chosen. Everyone agreed the control from the existing FEMA RM’s would be used because all of the existing hydraulic studies had used that datum. We completed the project and the FIRMs were updated and accepted.
Fast forward 30 years. With all the development that had gone on within the city the flood maps needed to be reevaluated. The city picked some big firm from the east coast to complete the study. About six months into the project it was announced that the “old” maps were in error by a foot. All of the flood plain elevations and zones needed to be “raised”. This caused some folks that had built during that 30 years to need flood insurance when they had originally built with the older datum. It was (and is still) a mess.
I sat through several council meetings where it was cussed and discussed. I guessed I was the only one still around that had remembered the problem from the early ’80s. I’m sure there was a mountain of paper documenting what had occurred in 1982 but for some reason either no one ever dug out the file to read, or they did and decided to keep quiet about it.
There was one new preliminary report that hinted of a ‘surveying error’ 30 years ago. By the time the report was final it merely stated there had been “conflicting vertical datum”. Some unsung old surveyor dodged a bullet and no one even saw it happen. 😉
- MemberSeptember 10, 2019 at 1:16 am
Just A. is right. I know of a fairly big construction company that even has their own surveyors hire another surveyor for bridge layout. Surveyor staked out the beam seats, which are critical. Beam seat locations were even checked by QC/QA and everything is hunky-dory. When it comes time to raise and place the beams, its a big deal. Police close down all lanes at night etc. The contractor, being in a big hurry, just set them up there, missing the beam seat marks by as much as 4″. They were told about it the next day, but of course the contractor was in a big hurry. Formed up the deck, laid out the steel. Came time to pour the deck, concrete ordered and on it’s way to the job site, laborers are there and ready….. DOT steps in. Wait a minute, stop everything! We got a problem… The problem was that the beams weren’t positioned correctly over the center of the bearing load at the center pier like they are supposed to be.
Of course they tried to blame the surveyor. That’s the first thing they tried, but it didn’t work. The surveyor saw the problem the next day and documented it. Plus QC/QA had checked his work and approved it. So next they try to get the design engineer firm to sign off on it. That wasn’t going to happen. They ended up reinforcing the center pier cap to get it to work. At their expense of course.
- MemberSeptember 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm
We were working an overpass in Missouri and they were using shims made of some type of abs plastic. They were 3×3 and came in different thicknesses. I asked for a few and they gave me a bucket full. I’m still using them (25 plus years later) for all sorts of stuff, from cab mounts on a truck to spacers on a bow sight.
Log in to reply.