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    Sidewalks and Driveways

    Sidewalks and Driveways

    New postby LisaMJ on Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:31 pm

    What is the maximum width for expansion joints when building a concrete driveway for an emergency room ? What type of material is required for the expansion joint? We live in Louisiana.
    LisaMJ
     
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    Re: Sidewalks and Driveways

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:41 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    Those aspects of concrete slabs would be based on the engineer designing the driveway and within any requirements within ACI 318 (ACI is American Concrete Institute), but those design elements would be flexible as one could engineer fewer expansion joints which were wider or more expansion joints which were narrower depending on the sizes of the area between expansion joints. The material would also be the engineers choice as fewer expansion joints would indicate the use of a material which can address greater movement, whereas fewer expansion joints would not require a material which would need to address much movement.

    What is an issue with the driveway and the expansion joints? Or is this a new/proposed driveway not yet designed or constructed? Personally, I would lean toward more expansion joints and less movement to keep the expansion joints within the center of there elasticity range, which would mean less 'squeezing upward' or 'stretching downward' of the expansion joint material, allowing for the material to remain closer to the same plane as the concrete on each side of the expansion joint so as to not create a trip and fall hazard due to humps or dips at the expansion joints.

    In the end, though, it is up to the designer of record (engineer/architect/design professional) to make those choices.
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    Re: Sidewalks and Driveways

    New postby LisaMJ on Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:03 pm

    The reason I'm asking is that after checking on a family member in the emergency dept. at our local hospital, my husband & I walked across the driveway to our car and my foot got caught in the expansion joint of the driveway. My shoe became stuck in the gap and I fell. The only filler in the joint was rotten wood at the beginning and end and the joint was very wide. Before I was even able to walk without pain I received a bill from the hospital for my treatment. The hospital is saying this isn't their fault and is requiring me to pay for my treatment. My husband is a licensed contractor and we can't get an answer on why the joint was so wide and why the joint wasn't filled after the wood rotted.
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    Re: Sidewalks and Driveways

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:02 pm

    LisaMJ wrote:Before I was even able to walk without pain I received a bill from the hospital for my treatment. The hospital is saying this isn't their fault and is requiring me to pay for my treatment.



    Your next call should be to an attorney, and let the attorney write a letter to the hospital - I believe they will change their tune very quickly and be more than willing to 'cover all costs for treatment', including any and all follow-up treatment. However, at this time, that would no longer be sufficient as they will be paying you, and of course your attorney, a considerable amount more than just covering the treatment.

    It is absolutely their responsibility to maintain their driveways and sidewalks, and not doing so is negligent from lack of maintenance.

    I would suspect that once the hospital attorney gets your attorney's demand letter that the hospital will quickly see the advantage in settling and putting this behind them.
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    Re: Sidewalks and Driveways

    New postby LisaMJ on Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:24 pm

    The hospital insurance company is saying that I would have had to let them know about the problem and give them time to correct it before I fell, and if they didn't and I fell then it would be their fault. That is the craziest thing I have ever heard before. I have hired an attorney. Because my husband is a contractor, our attorney is wanting my husband to research the sidewalk and driveway issue, He only has info on types of expansion materials, but nothing on codes like this. The fall happened last January and I've been paying bills ever since.
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    Re: Sidewalks and Driveways

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:58 pm

    LisaMJ wrote:The hospital insurance company is saying that I would have had to let them know about the problem and give them time to correct it before I fell, and if they didn't and I fell then it would be their fault.


    That is where they are wrong.

    They have an obligation to keep and maintain a safe area for the public and their workers, and you are part of the public.

    our attorney is wanting my husband to research the sidewalk and driveway issue,



    That is what you are paying the attorney for - the attorney should have their own experts, or get experts.

    Generally speaking, the ADA guidelines would address that uneven surface (the rotted out wood created an uneven surface) in the parking lot and sidewalk areas, and allows only for a vertical change in level of 1/4" without edge treatment, changes in level between 1/4" and 1/2" are required to be beveled 1:2 (i.e., 1 unit of rise for 2 units of run, or 1/4" rise for 1/2" run), and changes greater than 1/2" vertical are required to comply with ramps and have a slope of not greater than 1 unit rise for 12 units run (i.e., 1" rise for 12" run).

    What you found is precisely why I have never liked wood for those strips - the wood either rots out eventually or warps and sticks up (either creating a trip and fall hazard), and those wood strips are more decorative than actually serving as expansion joints as there is very little expansion or contraction to the wood.

    Where are you located?
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    Re: Sidewalks and Driveways

    New postby LisaMJ on Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:34 pm

    I live in a small town in north Louisiana called Collinston.

    The first attorney I hired did nothing but let his paralegal handle the case. They received a letter from the hospital's insurance co. that simply stated they wouldn't be responsible because they weren't aware of the problem to correct it before I fell. They do have a maintenance dept.

    I hired a second attorney and the insurance co. isn't even bothering to respond to his letter, so he sent a second one giving them one week to answer the letter before filing suit. Their week was up on the 11th of August. I really like this attorney and feel that he is working the case. As for experts around here, we have none! If it's okay I may give your .com to my attorney.
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    Re: Sidewalks and Driveways

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:46 pm

    LisaMJ wrote:If it's okay I may give your .com to my attorney.


    Yes.

    Also, I do expert witness consultation over the internet off-board (i.e., private) as legal cases need to be addressed in private. The rates for this are much less than for actually going there and being on-site, I can help through providing guidance which cannot, and should not, be provided here on this public board, I do that through my construction litigation consulting company: Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC. at (place cursor over link, right click, open in new window) http://www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com
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