Wednesday, May 8, 2013

shoddy Silver Spring MD Transit Center

The comment to the on-line article by "Pashaspop" (not me) says it all. I don't know "Pashaspop"; but, I know of what he speaks.

4/30/2013 8:10 PM EDT

"Cronyism eventually produces results like this. 

1) Failure in selecting an engineering team that understood what they designing - a prestressed concrete structure that is neither a bridge nor a building, but must function as both. Selections influenced by poltical connections, contributions and firms that hire retired public agency grandees to win work (rather than technical competence and relevant expertise) Is a longstanding MD tradition. Competent structural design firms experienced with this type of construction believe they would stand no chance of being awarded this commission from Montgomery County. Must be 'connected' 

2) Failure in competing the construction work and selecting an appropriate construction contractor. Only 2 firms submitted 'proposals' for the construction, Foulger-Pratt and Clark. Why no others? Because the work was not bid, but proposals were 'evaluated' for what the County considered the best offer. Not in that loop...don't even bother submit. In the event, the County selected Foulger-Pratt a 'developer', but not generally recognized as a construction contractor. The actual construction work was subcontracted.

3) Failure in understanding the independent Inspection regime needed. The Balter Co. is a geotechnical (soil/rock) engineering and testing firm with experience in the subsurface work required for heavy civil engineering projects. But not inspecting & testing the superstructure of a prestressed concrete structure. 

4) Failure to address potential conflicts of interest. The designer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, was also assigned the project management role for the construction. This is highly unusual. Design errors identified during construction were addressed 'in house' without independent review. 

5) KCE's report is damning in it's overall findings. Embarrasingly so for the industry. Worth a read, it is written for a general audience.

Conclusion: It's for the GAO since Fed $ involved. MD and Mtgy Cty are conflicted."

No comments: