Friday, December 30, 2005

Circle Jerk

It looks as if all parties involved in the design of New Orleans protections levees were negligent.

First Eustis Engineering averages out their test boring results over an area over a mile long, missing some esspecially weak soils in some spots. Any engineer knows you always design for the worst case scenario and then add a safety factor. Second, the design engineers used soil samples with a higher horizontal strength instead of weaker soils found at a lower level. The weaker soils would have required deeper piles. Third, when the New Orleans office of the Corps of Engineers reviewed the work, it accepted it without question. According to the forensic engineers, all these mistakes were fundemental errors that prudent engineers should not have made.

Lastly, the Vicksburg office the Corps of Engineers raised questions about the design of the levees but was assured by the New Orleans office the the engineering "judgements" were adequate. The Vicksburg office then dropped the issue without asking the New Orleans to provide data to back-up their assersions.

If this investigation continues to uncover more mismanagement like this, a few engineers may practice engineering for not much longer as well as the federal government might be paying huge damages as a result of quite a few law suites.


1 comment:

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