Civil Engineering Expert Claims Collapsed Road Was Improperly Built

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on June 29, 2017

Collapsed RoadwayThis case involves a man who was injured when a dirt road collapsed under his truck in the state of Wyoming. The man was driving an 18 wheel tractor-trailer combination on a road that was known to be a narrow road suitable for only one tractor-trailer to be driving on it at a time. At the time of the incident, the man was driving on the narrow roadway with a full load of gravel. As a result, he had the right of way over all empty tractor-trailers that had access to the roadway. While transporting the gravel, the dirt road gave way and collapsed under his truck, trapping him in a ditch. As a result he suffered severe, life altering injuries. It is alleged that the road was not properly constructed and was not built to handle heavy truck traffic. An expert in traffic engineering is sought to opine on this case.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you have extensive experience constructing dirt roads on construction sites?
  • 2. Do you have knowledge of the proper measurements/protocol that dirt roads should meet to prevent a collapse, like the one described in the above case overview?

Expert Witness Response E-008902

I have owned and operated an excavation and dirt work company for 10+ years that has a particular expertise in road construction. The first step in mapping or repairing a dirt road is assessing the natural drainage patterns to accommodate for water flow. You need to take measures to ensure the dirt road is weather worthy and sturdy. Most commonly, dirt roads are constructed either using a crown or graded slope, whichever is best for the particular area where the dirt road is placed. I can review this case to see if they took these factors into consideration as well as others. I can determine whether the road was properly built and maintained. In my expert opinion it sounds like it was not.

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