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Construction company admits "engineering mistake" in bridge collapse

Tana Weingartner

The construction company in charge when the exit ramp collapsed onto I-75 last month says it made an engineering mistake that may have lead to the collapse.

Kokosing CEO Wm. Brian Burgett issued the following statement:

Today, we learned some preliminary findings from our internal investigation of our demolition plans of the Hopple St. Ramp Bridge accident. Those findings unfortunately lead us to conclude that Kokosing Construction made an engineering mistake that may have been a contributing factor to the collapse of the bridge and the subsequent death of our colleague, Brandon Carl. I have personally reached out to Brandon’s fiancé, Kendra, to share this information. I am very sorry, and all of us are deeply troubled by these findings. We have shared the results of our preliminary findings with OSHA and ODOT. We want to assist them in every way we can with their investigations, which are ongoing. We now need to do everything in our power to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again. To that end, we have hired an outside engineering firm, Janssen & Spaans, to prepare designs for our future bridge demolition projects. Kokosing’s professional engineering team will conduct an independent review of those plans so that two companies will have to agree before we proceed with demolition in the future. While nothing we do can change the events that happened on January 19, we are taking this additional step to improve the safety of all of our workers and everyone impacted by the construction work we do. That is my personal commitment, and that is the commitment of each and every one of us at Kokosing Construction.