Advertisement

Sask. engineer who designed bridge that collapsed hours after opening barred from practising for now

A section of the newly built Dyck Memorial Bridge over the Swan River in the rural municipality of Clayton collapsed on Sept. 14, 2018, hours after the bridge was opened to the public. (Submitted by Duane Hicks - image credit)
A section of the newly built Dyck Memorial Bridge over the Swan River in the rural municipality of Clayton collapsed on Sept. 14, 2018, hours after the bridge was opened to the public. (Submitted by Duane Hicks - image credit)

Regina engineer Scott Gullacher has been barred from practising for the time being, after a bridge he designed in rural Saskatchewan collapsed hours after it opened in 2018.

The interim order comes after a discipline committee panel found Gullacher guilty of three counts of professional misconduct in a written decision last month, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS) said in a news release Friday.

Those counts are related to two formal complaints, the release said, including one related to the Dyck Memorial Bridge in the rural municipality of Clayton, which collapsed the same day it opened in September 2018. No one was injured.

The discipline committee panel found Gullacher didn't employ a site-specific geotechnical analysis for that bridge and that he did not provide adequate engineering designs for certain parts, the release said.

The other formal complaint was related to five municipal bridges: one located in each of the rural municipalities of Scott, Caledonia and Mervin and two located in the rural municipality of Purdue, the release said.

On that matter, the discipline committee panel found code deficiencies and that his designs inaccurately represented the bridge designs, among other things.

Gullacher's disciplinary hearing began in June 2022.

APEGS, which regulates professional engineers and geoscientists in the province, alleged at the time that Gullacher failed to practise "in a careful and diligent manner" when he designed the bridge and the screw piles that were supposed to hold it up.

The association also alleged Gullacher was offering services or advice in an area outside of his professional competence.

The discipline committee panel is set to hear submissions related to the disposition of the matters from both the investigation committee and Gullacher himself at a hearing on March 13, the release said.

After that, Gullacher will be issued a written order. If there is no appeal, the order will be published in the spring, the release said.