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RE: Excavating close to a building

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Generally, if the construction is in the city's right of way, unless
the contractor damages something, they are free to use whatever means
and methods are available to them.

If they have to acquire additional easements either temporary or
permanent, you might have some room for negotiation.

But as Mr. Polhemus will tell you, the city has the right of
eminent domain as provided by the 5th Amendment.  Which is about
the only way a roadway or municipal improvement project would
ever get done.  

Usually, unless they are encroaching onto YOUR property, there
is nothing you can do unless you can prove that something was damaged.

Jonathan Mallard
Design Engineer
Ralph Whitehead Associates
(804) 794-1185 
(804) 378-0923 FAX
jonathan.mallard(--nospam--at)rwhitehead.com
www.rwhitehead.com


-----Original Message-----
From: RISSELL, MICHAEL E [Non-Pharmacia/1000]
[mailto:michael.e.rissell(--nospam--at)monsanto.com]
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2001 10:16 AM
To: 'seaint'
Subject: Excavating close to a building


My home town in west central Missouri is installing new sewers.  My dad has
a 30 year old pre-engineered metal building, 45'x60', slab on grade with
footings 3' below grade, I think.  The city wants to run a new 22" HDPE
sewer along the 60' side of the building, 6' from the edge of the building,
10' deep.  The building is still in excellent shape and there has never been
any problems with settling, concrete cracking, etc.  Their construction plan
is to use trench boxes at the joints and then backfill in 2' to 3' lifts and
compact to 95% Proctor.  I indicated a big concern with undermining of the
foundation and thought sheet piling was the only sure way to keep the
integrity of the foundation and surrounding soil intact.  Obviously the city
does not want to go to that expense and stands behind the contract with
their contractor that says he is bonded and insured.  Their engineer also
pointed to a similar installation they performed 2 years ago adjacent to a
house, with no problems resulting.  As most of the houses in this area have
basements, I think we have an apples and oranges comparison.  No soils
reports exist for this area and the city also doesn't want that expense.  My
concern also is that even if this gets installed with no problems at the
time, settling could occur 2, 3, or 5 years down the road and it would be
hard/impossible to get any relief at that time, with legal proceedings
almost surely required.  Prevention is much better than a cure anytime!
Anyone have any thoughts on ways to convince them to do this the right way?
Or am I being overly conservative?

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