The joint venture building a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge filed a lawsuit on Jan. 7 in federal court in New York against the supplier of a floating concrete batch plant that collapsed unexpectedly in December 2014.
The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturer of the batch plant, Maxon Industries Inc., supplied storage silos that were structurally deficient. The suit also names manufacturer X-Tec Swiss AG, which supplied some of the designs and components for the batch plant’s silos.
On Dec. 16, 2014, a silo collapsed at one of two floating concrete batch plants at the bridge site, tearing down the other two silos on the plant. Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC), a joint venture of Fluor, American Bridge, Traylor Bros. and Granite Construction, alleges in the lawsuit that the silo collapsed due to a design defect. The suit says that, as a result, TZC had to take both floating batch plants out of service and find other means to deliver concrete to the site on the river.
TZC alleges in the suit that the need to find another solution for producing concrete on the site caused significant delays and increases in cost. TZC is seeking at least $25.7 million in damages.
According to the suit, TZC says the silos designed and manufactured by Maxon Industries and X-Tec were unable to handle the expected loads of the concrete-making process. Specifically, it alleges Maxon Industries and X-Tec failed “to construct hopper and vertical wall steel plating thicknesses in accordance with X-Tec’s own fabrication shop drawings,” which led to the collapse.
The $3.9-billion New New York Bridge Project is intended to replace the 60-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge, which carries the N.Y. State Thruway over the Hudson River. TZC has not said how the loss of the floating concrete plants affected the project’s overall schedule.
Maxon Industries declined to comment on the lawsuit.