Thruway Authority-Schoharie Creek Bridge

When the bridge over the Schoharie Creek collapsed in 1987, the New York State Thruway Authority filed suit for $114 million against firms which designed and constructed the bridge in 1954.

ICRH was retained by the general contractor, a firm engaged in heavy construction projects throughout the world.

Extensive pre-trial discovery established that the probable cause of the failure was defective design of the bridge foundation by the Thruway Authority's consultant. Evidence also pointed to inadequate maintenance and inspection by Thruway staff which permitted the bridge footings to be undermined by scour over a period of three decades. The case presented technical issues of stream hydraulics, bridge foundation design, bridge superstructure design and soil mechanics. The Thruway Authority discontinued the action without taking any depositions from the contractor's employees pursuant to a settlement which provided for a relatively modest payment to the Thruway Authority. The Authority's design consultants made substantial contributions to the settlement fund.

The settlement stipulation included a formal retraction of fraud allegations against our client.