- In a recent construction update on the $23 million flyover bridge construction project at Interstate 35 and U.S. 30 near Ames, Iowa, the Iowa Department of Transportation revealed that the contractor must make major repairs to the work — correcting bridge pier and abutment elevations and repositioning anchor bolts prior to setting steel bridge beams — resulting in a delay that could push project completion from the end of this year into 2019.
- Contractor Minnowa Construction of Harmony, Minnesota, is already underway with the partial demolition of six piers that were built at the wrong elevation, according to KCCI Des Moines. The anchor bolts to which the steel beams will eventually connect are several inches off, so workers will continue to jackhammer off the pier tops, taking approximately two weeks per pier and leaving existing steel reinforcement in place. Crews will then re-pour concrete for the piers to the proper height.
- Department officials said the cost of the repairs will come out of Minnowa's pocket. In addition, the company faces a $5,500 per day fine for each day work extends beyond the original schedule. Scott Dockstader, an Iowa DOT engineer overseeing the project, told KCCI that Minnowa is a long-time department contractor and chalked up the mistake to human error.
Errors, whether construction- or design-based, are not uncommon, but they garner a great deal of attention when they happen on high-profile projects like the flyover in Iowa.
Work on the $2 billion Miami Intermodal Center wrapped up in 2013, but the plan to have the new facility service long-distance Amtrak trains never got off the ground after it was discovered during construction that the central station platform built for Amtrak was 200 feet too short. There are no plans to alter the platforms, as the necessary addition would put the platform into the middle of an adjacent street.
Two multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects in China and Hong Kong, with ties to the same Australian contractor, Leighton Holdings, have also experienced design errors and alleged construction defects. Designers of the more than 120 billion yuan (U.S. $18 billion) Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge placed the power supply of a passenger immigration building built on an artificial island in the structure's basement. The building has experienced water intrusion problems, and engineering experts said this has put workers at risk of injury or death.
At the 97 billion Hong Kong dollar (U.S. $12.4 billion) Sha Tin-Central Link rail project, the authorities are investigating claims that Leighton directed subcontractors to cut 5,000 steel bars, or 20% of the project's total, so that they would appear to be installed correctly. Leighton has denied the charges.