Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Rope, Tree, You Know the Drill

In a perfect world, we'd likely need to build a new prison to hold all the guilty parties connected to this travesty we call the Big Dig. But seeing as it's Massachusetts, instead, I'll settle for a new 25-cell wing being built onto one of our existing prisons.

From the Boston Herald:

A memo written after a January 10, 2000, meeting of project officials notes "an apparent failure of the epoxy" for ceiling anchors in the first 100 feet of the Interstate 90 Seaport connector tunnel. It was in an adjacent section where ceiling panels collapsed and killed Milena Del Valle, 38.

The chilling notation was made on Massachusetts Turnpike Authority letterhead and was known to a project team reviewing construction disputes relating to the ceiling support problems and other issues. Officials copied on the note included Kurt Dettman, the state's top Big Dig top attorney at the time; Matt Wiley, the top project official for Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff; and a federal highway official.

From the Boston Globe:

The on-site safety officer for the Interstate 90 connector directly warned his superiors at contractor Modern Continental Construction Co. that the tunnel ceiling could collapse because the bolts could not support the heavy concrete panels, and feared for his conscience if someone died as a result.

John J. Keaveney -- in a starkly-worded two-page memo sent in 1999 to Robert Coutts, senior project manager for Modern Continental -- wrote that he could not "comprehend how this structure can withhold the test of time."

Keaveney added: "Should any innocent State Worker or member of the Public be seriously injured or even worse killed as a result, I feel that this would be something that would reflect Mentally and Emotionally upon me, and all who are trying to construct a quality Project."

We're gonna need some more trees.