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Falling panels in Boston Tunnel...fallout.

Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
When Boston’s big dig made the news with the tragic collapse of 4000 lb panels because Modern Continental used laborers that were untrained versus "trained personnel" the State sued everyone. That's not news but what is news is that these companies down the line are going bankrupt like dominoes. The epoxy manufacturer has a gag order but they are paying a couple of million to the state. The wholesaler of the epoxy and the ss bolts and in a few instances they sold non-ss bolts are going belly up as well. In addition to the hanger company Kelleher or something like that they are having their insurance company belly up a million as well. The point is this has set a huge precedent for the age old argument that "my boss told me to do it this way." And a strong message to everyone downstream that thought they were protected because they weren’t the ones that installed the bolts in the first place. I said it in the past and I'll say it again, Modern Continental used these bolts and these untrained laborers to save a buck throughout the whole system. In other words the whole big dig has this same system throughout NOT just the Mass Pike Extension.


  • [Deleted User]
    few things

    Chris, what qualifies one to be trained to install bolts? I worked on the big dig for over three years building storm water pumping stations and running miles of fire protection piping. I have used these same anchors that are in question hundreds of times with out a problem. All i did was read the instructions. Does that make me qualified to install these anchors?
    You can not blame the person who put the anchors in or the company who sold them. Laborers are not the most educated bunch but they only do what they are told. If it wasnt them installing these bolts it would have been the Iron workers. If you work in commercial and industrial construction iron workers are pretty close to being laborers, they just drink more. If you worked on this project you would understand how hard it was.
    The biggest problem was the engineering!! Sorry Brad but i had to say it. All of the Bechtel engineers were from foreign countries and did not understand what the hell was going on.
    The tunnels were broken up into small sections that each engineer was assigned to. They were the ones that had the final say on everything ,not Modern Continental or J F White or any of the many GC'S on the project. It was the engineers.
    We would use 1" threaded rod to hang 6" ductile iron piping in the west bound lane and 3/4 threaded quick bolts to hang the same pipe going east bound. It made no sence.
    Modern continental went out of business because of this project, they were bought out by Cashman. It seems that Bechtel and Parsons Brinkerhoff are not even being mentioned. They are the ones to blame.
    It was a tragedy what happened to that woman when the panel fell on her. But it is not right to blame the men who did the work, the people who inspect it shoud be the ones in question.
  • Kevin_54
    Kevin_54 Member Posts: 30
    Modern Continental

    There were strong rumors that Modern Continental used money from the Central Artery project to complete the Deer Island project because they were out of money. I can see the scenerio in which Modern could have cut corners on the Central Artery project to try and catch up with their spending. In such large construction you install or assemble whatever it is you do according to the way the people above you see fit, This was not a design/build job. If you start doing things " your own way" they will find someone else to do it "their way" and you'll be out of work.To blame the installers is typical and an easy way out.
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