'Engineering Mistake' May Have Led to Fatal Ohio Ramp Collapse, Contractor Says
An “engineering mistake” may have contributed to the January collapse of an overhead exit ramp in Cincinnati that killed a construction worker, according the CEO of Kokosing Construction Co. Inc., the Westerville, Ohio-based contractor charged with demolishing the ramp.
In a statement issued Feb. 14, Kokosing CEO Brian Burgett indicated an internal investigation uncovered an error in plans to demolish Hopple Street Ramp Bridge. On Jan. 19, a “catastrophic pancake collapse” dumped nearly 100 tons of concrete onto Interstate 75 and killed 35-year-old foreman Brandon William Carl, who reportedly was on the ramp prior to the collapse and pinned beneath equipment once the collapse occurred.
Prior to Kokosing's statement, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) released documents indicating that a Kokosing engineer altered demolition plans hours before the collapse.
“We are retaining a third-party professional engineering firm to review all of our demolition plans,” Burgett's statement reads. “Though we have always had stringent protocols in engineering, we are taking additional steps to enhance the integrity of our demolition plans to protect the safety of our workers and everyone impacted by the construction we do. We also have retained independent experts to conduct a thorough review of the Hopple Street Ramp demolition plan.”
Burgett indicated Kokosing continues to assist ODOT and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in efforts to determine the cause of the collapse.
Earlier this month, Carl's parents filed suit against ODOT, alleging that negligence and carelessness resulted in improper and unsafe conditions at the project's site.