L'Ambiance Plaza collapse

The L'Ambiance Plaza collapse was one of the worst disasters in modern Connecticut history. L'Ambiance Plaza was a 16-story residential project under construction in Bridgeport, Connecticut, at the corner of Washington Avenue and Coleman Street. Its partially erect frame completely collapsed on April 23, 1987, killing 28 construction workers.[1][2][3] Failure was possibly due to high concrete stresses on the floor slabs by the placement process resulting in cracking, ending in a type of punch-through failure.[4][5][6][7][8] Several observers suggested the collapse was preventable and highlighted the deficiencies of the lift slab construction technique.[9] This collapse prompted a major nationwide federal investigation into lift slab construction as well as a temporary moratorium on its use in Connecticut.

L'Ambiance Plaza collapse
DateApril 23, 1987 (1987-04-23)
LocationBridgeport, Connecticut
Coordinates41°10′42″N 73°11′47″W / 41.1782°N 73.1964°W / 41.1782; -73.1964
CauseBuilding collapse
Outcome28 construction workers killed

In November 1988, less than two years after the disaster, a $41 million settlement of all legal claims arising from a disaster was achieved through mediation, avoiding years of potential litigation. Two judges – Robert C. Zampano of U.S. District Court and Frank S. Meadow of Connecticut Superior Court — mediated the dispute "through informal conferences among nearly 100 lawyers representing the victims' families and 40 contractors and subcontractors".[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Architectural Board Accepts L'Ambiance Plaza Agreement". The New York Times. April 23, 1989. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Kaminetzky, Dov (1991). Design and Construction Failures: Lessons from Forensic Investigations. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 78–85. ISBN 0-07-033565-6. LCCN 90-46691.
  3. ^ Feld, Jacob; Carper, Kenneth L. (1997). Construction Failure (second ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 311–315. ISBN 0-471-57477-5. LCCN 96-33425.
  4. ^ Heger, Frank J. "ENGINEERING.com > L'Ambiance Plazza". Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Martin, Rachel. "L'Ambiance Plaza Collapse". Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
  6. ^ Dusenberry, Donald O. "L'Ambiance Plaza - Case Study" (PDF). Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  7. ^ Levy, Mattys; Mario Salvadori; Kevin Woest (1992). Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail. Illustrated by Kevin Woest. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 176. ISBN 0-393-31152-X.
  8. ^ Zallen, Rubin M.; David B. Peraza (2004). Engineering Considerations for Lift-slab Construction. ASCE Publications (American Society of Civil Engineers - Technical Council on Forensic Engineering). ISBN 0-7844-0705-3.
  9. ^ Barone, Meg (April 23, 2010). "23 years later, L'Ambiance losses still sting". Connecticut Post. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  10. ^ Sam Howe Verhovek, Pact Reached In Collapse of Building, New York Times (November 16, 1988).

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