Traffic

I-40 Pavement Flaws Led to Changes at DOT

Posted December 15, 2006
Updated May 19, 2007

Three highway engineers have been reprimanded in the wake of a botched paving job on Interstate 40 that will cost the state more than $18 million to repair.

Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett on Friday issued his final report into flawed pavement on a 10-mile stretch of I-40 in Durham County. Within months of a major widening project, pavement began crumbling on the highway between the Durham Freeway and U.S. Highway 15/501.

Inspectors determined that expansion joints weren't installed properly when a new layer of concrete was laid over I-40 during the widening. Tippett said in his report that the expansion joints fell through the cracks because of shifting responsibilities within the Department of Transportation and contractors, badly written contracts and a lack of on-site inspection.

 Granite Construction Co., the contractor on the widening project, agreed to absorb $3 million of the cost to fix the pavement, and the DOT plans to take legal action against HNTB, an engineering firm that the state hired to inspect the I-40 widening, Tippett said. HNTB has denied any responsibility for the problem, he said.

DOT engineers Victor Barbour, Wiley Jones III and Tracy Parrott received written warnings for their involvement in the project, Tippett said. State Highway Administrator Len Sanderson decided to retire at the end of the year.

Tippett said the DOT would implement new controls to prevent future problems in the future, including more on-site inspections by senior engineers and requiring contractors to provide performance warranties.

5 Comments

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  • chargernut69 Feb 21, 2007

    Please fire these incompetent people! This is not 1960 & there are not 10,000 people living here anymore like Mayberry. Get some trained people that know what they are doing in the DOT, not kids fresh out of college with zero experience!

  • jlmkuw Dec 20, 2006

    a reprimand, that means that we get to keep paying for their incompetence into the future, I would rather pay their unemployment benefits instead

  • inspector01 Dec 17, 2006

    I agree with dnguyen68, what a waste of our tax money. And, what are the changes within DOT? That they may require the engineers to actually do their jobs? If they need a separate written warranty from the contractors, what kind of attorneys do they have writing these multi million dollar contacts? This is a typical reaction of an entranched, powerful bureacracy toward our money.

  • dnguyen68 Dec 16, 2006

    There goes our tax money down the drain and they only got warnings.

  • dnguyen68 Dec 16, 2006

    There goes our tax money down the drain and they only got warnings.