An engineer who was responsible for designing bridges in the RMs of Scott and Caledonia, as well as the Dyck Memorial Bridge over the Swan River in the RM of Clayton has been found guilty of three counts of professional misconduct. The decision was made by a panel of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan discipline committee.  

The three counts of professional misconduct against engineer Scott Gullacher stem from two formal complaints. One of those complaints was regarding the Dyck Memorial Bridge, which collapsed shortly after it was officially opened in September 2018. The second complaint was connected to five municipal bridges – one each in the RMs of Scott, Caledonia and Mervin, and two in the RM of Purdue.  

Regarding the Dyck Memorial Bridge, Gullacher was found by the discipline committee, according to a press release issued last Friday, “to have not practised 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 formations. The designs prepared by Gullacher for the 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. This resulted in five superstructures designed which were inadequate to carry the minimum loads required by the code.” 

As a result of the hearing, the APEGS has prohibited Gullacher from working for the time being as part of an interim order. There will be submissions from the investigation committee and Gullacher at a hearing scheduled for March 13th. A final order will then be issued, and if there is no appeal, the order will be published in the spring.  

“We ensure that our registrants have the education, experience and ethics to practice their profession in the public interest,” said Stormy Holmes, P.Eng., APEGS Executive Director and Registrar. “The public must feel confident and trust that the careful and diligent work of engineers and geoscientists will keep them safe. This registrant’s work was a breach of that trust. I am confident that our regulatory processes worked as they should to protect the public.” 

The panel strictly heard evidence about the charges against Gullacher, and determined they were proven on a balance of probabilities. It did not look at or determine the cause of the Dyck Memorial Bridge.