RM OF CLAYTON — The engineer that designed a bridge in the RM of Clayton that collapsed within hours of opening to the public has been temporarily prohibited from practicing.
The Dyck Memorial Bridge collapsed on Sept. 14, 2018.
In June 2022, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan held a discipline hearing for Scott Gullacher to investigate five counts of professional misconduct, four of which were connected to the collapse of the bridge.
On Jan. 24, the hearing's panel issued a written decision that stated Gullacher was found guilty of three of those counts, two of which were connected to the collapse of the bridge.
It determined that Gullacher did not practice in a careful and diligent manner because he chose to proceed with design and construction work without doing a site-specific subsurface investigation, and did not provide adequate engineering designs for the helical piles used in the foundation system for the bridge.
The panel looked into whether or not Gullacher offered services, advice or undertook professional assignments outside of his area of competency, and if he did not practice in a careful and diligent manner in the overall design of the bridge. The panel determined there was insufficient evidence to prove those counts.
The final count related to five other municipal bridges, one located in each of the RMs of Scott, Caledonia and Mervin and two located in the RM of Purdue. The designs prepared by Gullacher for the five municipal bridges lacked relevant design information, including inaccurate representation of bridge designs, numerous Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code deficiencies, lack of critical detail on plans for welding details, among other deficiencies. This resulted in five superstructure designs that were inadequate to carry the minimum loads required by the code.
The panel will hear submissions related to the disposition of the matters from an investigation committee and Gullacher at a hearing scheduled for March 13, the association said. Then a final written order will be issued to Gullacher. If there is no appeal, the order will be published in the spring.
The association said the role of the panel was limited by statute to hearing the evidence presented to it and then determining whether the charges against Gullacher were proven on a balance of probabilities. It was not tasked with determining the cause of the collapse of the Dyck Memorial Bridge.