Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site



Clemco Industries Corp.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Blackout Suit Takes Aim at Bridge Contractor

Friday, August 4, 2017

More items for Health & Safety
More items from North America

Comment | More

The contractor responsible for cutting power to thousands of homes and businesses on two islands in North Carolina is being sued by residents in a court action filed before the lights even came back on in many communities.

A class action suit was filed Monday (July 31), alleging that Denver-based PCL Construction, the lead contractor on the Bonner Bridge replacement, was negligent when its crew drove a steel casing into a set of three cables that brought power to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, in the state’s tourism-heavy Outer Banks region. More than 50,000 visitors were evacuated from the islands Friday and Saturday after the incident, which occurred early Thursday (July 27).

Overhead line construction
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative

Crews have installed a new overhead transmission line to bring power to the two islands that lost electricity when a bridge construction crew severed underground cables.

According to USA Today, the suit, filed by law firm McCune Wright Arevalo, argues that PCL had “a duty to exercise reasonable care during construction so as not to cause any interference with the vacation rental plans of individuals and families in the affected area.” Two of the three cables were damaged in the incident.

PCL has not commented on the lawsuit, but in a series of statements issued on Twitter in the days after the mishap, the company apologized “for the inconvenience this has caused to tourists, residents and local businesses,” and said it was “doing everything we can to restore power quickly and safely.”

Restoring Power

Limited electricity has been available via temporary generators set up on Hatteras since the incident.

Crews originally began working to both splice the severed underground cables and build a new overhead transmission line to bring power to the islands. Wednesday, the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative said it had determined that the overhead line would be the quickest way to restore power, and as of Thursday (Aug. 3), the company expected to bring power back to the islands by Saturday.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Bridges; Construction; Contractors; Health and safety

Comment from James Plaatsman, (8/4/2017, 8:48 AM)

I wonder if the electrical utilitiy was marked properly by the locating service? Perhaps this will encourage funding for a secondary feed to the area south of the Bonner Bridge. Efforts in the past have been squashed because of costs.

Comment from M. Halliwell, (8/4/2017, 11:14 AM)

James, sometimes it takes the "what if" scenarios to motivate change. Over the last 10 years, wildfires near Fort McMurray, Alberta have fuelled the discussions about additional roads into the community. Several years of being cut off by wildfires and then the difficulty of getting 80,000 people out during last year's evacuation have highlighted the transportation bottleneck there. Right now, unless winter roads are open to the North, there is only one highway actually coming into the city (with another that branches off some 20 minutes (30 km) to the south. Necessity is the moth of invention, they say....too bad we keep learning about back-ups and redundancy from hindsight, rather than planning ahead.

Comment from M. Halliwell, (8/4/2017, 11:15 AM)

Gah! I shouldn't type before my morning coffee ;) You get my meaning, I'm sure.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Bullard Made in the USA

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Introducing the ALPHA1 Blasting Robot
Once installed and commissioned – simply

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Full Surface Protection for Up to One Year
HT 365 is a preservation, single component, anti-corrosive coating, a water displacing agent, a lubricant, and a penetrating fluid. It creates an imperceptible thin-film coating that offers excellent salt contaminant and humidity protection. Contact your HoldTight® representative or visit for more information.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Portable Blast &
Recovery Equipment
Trailer or skid mounted blast and recovery equipment. Systems designed for maximum versatility, environmental compliance
and overall cost savings.
Call 1-800-634-7278

CS Unitec
Dust Control Surface Prep Industrial Tools for Steel and Concrete
Scarifying • Grinding Scabbling • Descaling Dust collection for safer working conditions. Low-vibration for less worker fatigue. Trelawny™ power tools from CS Unitec. Learn more…

ABKaelin, LLC
Programs/Training/Monitoring for Silica, Lead, Noise, Beryllium, Hexavalent Chromium, Cadmium, Hazardous Waste*PM10 & TSP-Lead Ambient Air Monitoring*SSPC C3/C5


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

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   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us