Public Criticism of Bridge Safety - Case No. 88-7

TitlePublic Criticism of Bridge Safety - Case No. 88-7
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1988
Corporate AuthorsNational Society of Professional Engineers, Board of Ethical Review,
Date Published06/2006
PublisherNational Society of Professional Engineers, Board of Ethical Review
Publication LanguageEnglish
KeywordsENGINEERING , professional , PUBLIC , Structural
AbstractEngineer A, a renowned structural engineer, is hired for a nominal sum by a large city newspaper to visit the site of a state bridge construction project, which has had a troubled history of construction delays, cost increases, and litigation primarily as a result of several well publicized, on-site accidents. Recently the state highway department has announced the date for the opening of the bridge. State engineers have been proceeding with repairs based upon a specific schedule. Engineer A visits the bridge and performs a one-day visual observation. Her report identifies, in very general terms, potential problems and proposes additional testing and other possible engineering solutions. Thereafter, in a series of feature articles based upon information gleaned from Engineer A's report, the newspaper alleges that the bridge has major safety problems that jeopardize its successful completion date. Allegations of misconduct and incompetence are made against the project engineers and the contractors as well as the state highway department. During an investigation by the state, Engineer A states that her report was intended merely to identify what she viewed were potential problems with the safety of the bridge and was not intended to be conclusive as to the safety of the bridge.