Oversight Without Overseeing

DOT commissioner Ralph Carpenter testified before the Transportation Committee today. From the AP:

The state Department of Transportation’s oversight of the outside inspector involved in a troubled $52 million I-84 construction project included mostly reviewing paperwork, the commissioner told state lawmakers Monday.

Ralph Carpenter said state staff were not physically watching over the operations.

“Maybe we should have been,” he told members of the legislature’s Transportation Committee, which questioned Carpenter about how hundreds of storm drains along a stretch of I-84 between Cheshire and Waterbury wound up defective. (AP)

A shortage of staff may have also contributed to the problem. That staff shortage probably led the DOT to contract out the inspection work to another private company, instead of using state staff.

Source
State DOT cooperating with various I-84 investigations.” Associated Press 22 January, 2007.

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6 responses to “Oversight Without Overseeing

  1. don’t they DRIVE on that road? I mean… really..

    where is this stuff running off? what a freakin’ mess.. :(

  2. CT has one of the worst DOT’s in the country. The privatizing and outsourcing of jobs, going back to Rowland, has hurt the efficiency and efficacy of the agency.

    Morale isn’t very high, either. Recently, while covering some courthouse news, I saw a lawsuit where DOT staffers were being sued by one of their own for racial harassment and discrimination. I should see if I can’t grab the lawsuit and report on it.

    All of this is swept under the rug, and meanwhile, traffic pressure builds…

  3. Perhaps we will find some leadership from the executive office.

    Although I’m not holding my breath, but I am, unfortunately, filling my tank.

  4. The wonders of “Privitization” and “the free market” never stop. Anyone else look at their utility bills lately.

  5. By the way,

    Where did the miles of pipe go that was suppose to connect these stormdrains to one another and to where they emptied?

    The ONLY way this could have happened is if almost all the contrators, bosses and inspectors were in on it.

    Welcome to little Baghdad in New England.

  6. Rell has hired Hill International to do a post mortem of the I-84 job but I don’t know what’s going on with their work. Carpenter’s name can be found in the link below.
    http://www.ct.gov/ag/lib/ag/other/report_ag_case_evaluations_12-04-06.pdf
    You’d think with all the long history of problems at the DOT we’d have somebody other than a state cop mentioned as part of what is at best an admistrative screwup at his home agency running the DOT.

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