Saskatchewan engineer suspended for 18 months in relation to bridge collapse

Journal of Commerce | DCN-JOC News Services | August 17, 2023

REGINA — The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS) has suspended Scott Gullacher, P.Eng., for 18 months with three years of supervision thereafter.

On Sept. 14, 2018 the Dyck Memorial Bridge in the Regional Municipality (RM) of Clayton, Sask. collapsed and Gullacher was found to “have not practiced in a careful and diligent manner by not employing a site-specific geotechnical analysis and by not providing adequate engineering designs for the helical pile foundations,” according to a APEGS release.

Designs prepared by Gullacher for five municipal bridges “lacked relevant design information, including inaccurate representation of bridge designs, numerous Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code deficiencies, lack of critical detail on plans for welding details, among other deficiencies,” resulting in five superstructure designs inadequate to carry minimum loads required by the code.

Gullacher was found guilty on three counts of professional misconduct by an APEGS discipline committee, outlined in a written decision sent to the engineer on Jan. 24, 2023. The three counts relate to the Dyck Memorial bridge and the five municipal bridges, one located in each of the RMs of Scott, Caledonia and Mervin and two located in the RM of Purdue.

Gullacher’s registration to practice engineering in Saskatchewan is suspended for 18 months starting from June 8, 2022, at which time he was first ordered not to practice professional engineering. Following the suspension period all engineering work is subject to direct supervision for three years.

He must also complete five hours of verifiable ethics training each year and is required to pay the maximum fine of $15,000 and $32,000 towards APEGS’s investigation costs.

The panel’s decision and interim order as well as the final order can be found on the APEGS website under the Complaints and Enforcement, Discipline Hearings and Notices section.