Paducah, Kentucky
Pile Foundation Cost Dispute

The Project

The project includes the design and construction of a barge painting facility in Western Kentucky adjacent to the Tennessee River . The owner selected a turn key approach that resulted in steel construction with concrete filled pipe pile foundations. The lump sum construction contract was for about $400,000.

The Site

The site is a relatively level site adjacent to the Tennessee River in Western Kentucky .

The Problem

The specifications called for a minimum pile embedment of 65 feet to resist lateral loads. During construction, bedrock was encountered at a depth of about 40 feet landslide, and 18 feet below the river bottom in river channel which did not allow installation of the piles to the specified minimum depth. The contractor redesigned the piles to include predrilling into the bedrock and the installation of rock anchors through the pile bottoms. Upon completion of the work, the owner was asked to pay an additional $400,000 for the change.

The Cause

Borings made by the geotechnical engineer on behalf of the contractor failed to discover the bedrock at the 40 foot depth. In addition, the lateral load resistance of the 14 inch diameter pipe piles could be obtained with a minimum embedment depth of 18 feet. Therefore, the original minimum embedment of 65 feet was too conservation, and the predrilling and rock anchors that were subsequently added were not necessary.

The Resolution

The case was settled about two weeks prior to trial with the Owner agreeing to pay the Contractor an additional $40,000. The Defendant Geotechnical Engineer also contributed an undisclosed amount to the contractor and the subconsultant engineer hired by the contractor to design the pile foundations forgave their fee.

The Attorney Client

For the Owner:

Mr. Peter R. Spanos (404) 522-1410
Hendrick, Spanos & Phillips
1410 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Atlanta , GA 30303


For additional information concerning this case,
you may contact:

P. O. Box 130
Nicholasville , Kentucky 40340-0130


Copyright 2004 Richard Cheeks