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Re: EOR in California

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I was in a similar position on a project in Los Angeles.  The situation 
actually differed from yours, but it illustrates the complications.

It was a seismic repair and retrofit project.  The Engineer had left town and 
could not be contacted; the Architect had disassociated himself from the 
project in a letter to the owner.  An existing condition was not correctly 
shown on the structural drawings, and the detail for the condition could not 
be built.  I could see a solution, but would not participate in the project 
unless I could be assured that I would not be assigned responsibility for 
anything but the structural solution to the single existing condition.  The 
City could not close out the project without the EOR's certificate stating 
the opinion that it was completed in accordance with the approved plans -- if 
I participated, I was the only one that they would have a handle on to take 
that role.  It seemed to be a stand-off and the project could never be 

A resolution was worked out because I was able to point out that the detail 
was a retrofit item and not required to complete the repair.  The Building 
Department personnel agreed with the owner to allow the retrofit detail to be 
deleted from the project (even though the EOR was the only one who could 
legally make such a deletion), and the project to be signed-off without the 
EOR's certificate.  It was clear that this was bending the rules but that 
there was no authorized way to bring the matter to a resolution.

The retrofit detail then became a new project - which the owner has never 
authorized me to proceed with.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer