PaintSquare.com


The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

JPCL FREE Trial

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Reservoir Owner Persists After Defeat

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

Undaunted after rejecting a $30 million settlement offer, then losing a $100 million lawsuit, Tampa Bay Water is apparently ready to take another swing at the engineer that designed its severely cracked 15.5 billion-gallon reservoir.

A Florida jury handed the water utility a stunning defeat in April in its long-running effort to blame Nebraska-based HDR Engineering Inc. for the cracks that erupted in the C.W. Bill Young Reservoir a year after it began operating in 2005.

 Tampa Bay Water injected grout into the larger cracks; the grout repair program is ongoing.

Photos: Tampa Bay Water 

Tampa Bay Water injected grout into the larger cracks—116 dump-truck loads in one; 12 loads in the other—as a temporary fix. The grout repair program is ongoing.

Some cracks in the soil-cement embankment lining were up to 400 feet long and up to 15½ inches deep. The utility says the cracks affect 70 percent of the embankment; HDR says the affected area was about 6 percent.

Suit, Settlement, Trial

The utility filed the federal-court suit in 2008 against reservoir designer HDR, contractor Barnard Construction, and construction manager CDG, seeking more than $100 million to repair the structure. The utility later settled with CDG for $6 million and Barnard for $750,000.

The month-long trial against HDR went forward after TBW’s board rejected a $30 million settlement offer that it had previously accepted.

 HDR Engineering

 HDR Engineering

The federal-court jury sided with HDR, which contended that inadequate soil compaction—not poor design—in the reservoir embankment led to the voids that eventually caused cracking.

The jury, however, deliberated less than four hours before finding that the design of the $146 million reservoir—the largest in the state—did not violate standards.

Overplayed?

HDR says that the water company has overplayed and repaired the cracks and actually wants HDR to subsidize an upgrade for the reservoir. (Kiewit Infrastructure South was hired for $156 million last year to repair the reservoir and boost its capacity by 3 billion gallons.)

HDR went on the offensive in December with an extensive website devoted to the litigation.

‘Public Shouldn’t Pay Twice’

Verdict or no, the water company apparently remains determined to make HDR pay.

“Saying we are disappointed is an understatement,” Tampa Bay Water General Manager Gerald J. Seeber said after the verdict was announced.

 The 15.5 billion-gallon reservoir began cracking in 2006, the year after it came on line.
The 15.5 billion-gallon reservoir began cracking in 2006, the year after it came on line.

“We feel strongly that the public shouldn’t have to pay twice for a fully functioning reservoir. We hired HDR to design the facility. HDR certified its design and the construction to the state, so we believe HDR is liable. We’ll discuss the verdict with our Board and consider our legal options, including a possible appeal.”

New Trial?

Now, the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that TBW will seek a new trial in the case. Board member Neil Brickfield moved unsuccessfully to fire the lawyer who had represented the board after learning “we didn’t hire a jury consultant and the other side did,” the newspaper said.

TBW attorney Richard Harrison, however, told the newspaper that the grounds for a new trial were likely to involve a series of rulings by the trial judge “that limited or blocked Tampa Bay Water from presenting much rebuttal to HDR’s case.”

For instance, Harrison told the paper, the judge did not allow witnesses “to testify about HDR’s role in inspecting the reservoir’s construction or to show photos of how the cracking continued this month.”

   

Tagged categories: Cement; Construction; Engineering; Linings

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

JPCL Europe
Special EMEA edition!

Now, the publisher of JPCL offers essential news and knowledge for protective and marine coatings professionals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa: www.jpcleurope.com


SAFE Systems, Inc.
Portable Dust Collectors for Tough Environments

Trailer and skid-mounted models in numerous sizes, powered by electric and/or diesel. Sloped roofs, multiple dust inlets, high static, dampered fans. Lockable power & drive compartments.


LS Industries
LS Blasters: Optimum Steel Cleaning Efficiency

Simplify surface prep with the precise shot control of LS Blasters. Our blast technology delivers optimum coverage and finish. 800-533-8008


Safety Lamp of Houston, Inc.
Wet & hazardous area lighting solutions from SAFETY LAMP of Houston

New WOLF LED and fluorescent lights are now available, including low voltage tank lighting kits.
Call: (281) 964-1019.


CS Unitec
Surface Prep Tools for Hazardous Conditions

CS Unitec's Trelawny™
line of surface prep tools
is safe and efficient for
use in marine & protective coatings applications including Ex Zones & Hot Work Zones.


International Paint LLC
A Long Track Record of Success

  • Polyurethanes
  • Linings
  • Epoxies
  • Zincs
The Power to Protect™
1-800-589-1267


Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams
Our 3,500 locations give you a level of service that is simply unmatched.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2014, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com