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Major flaws in concrete in Silver Spring transportation project
WTOP ^ | January 30, 2012 | Adam Tuss

Posted on 01/31/2012 4:59:34 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

ROCKVILLE, Md. - There are major flaws with the way the concrete was poured in the $101 million Transit Center in the heart of downtown Silver Spring.

During a news conference Monday, Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner outlined the issues, calling the situation a "serious problem." He also hinted at the possibility of legal action against the contractor.

"Specifications for the project called for there to be 10 inches of concrete. The analysis that has been done has shown that for significant portions of the second floor and the third floor, there's only eight and a half inches," Berliner said.

The three-story transit center is supposed to support Metro and MARC trains, Metro and Ride-On buses, as well as other transportation modes. Construction on the project started in 2008.

Although Montgomery County leaders aren't saying it directly, the belief is that legal action could be coming against the contractor for the project, Foulger-Pratt.

"I am a lawyer and I would say to you where there is a mistake, and a lot of money involved, that increases the chances of litigation exponentially," Berliner said.

Foulger-Pratt used a sub-contractor to pour the concrete -- La Plata based Facchina Construction.

The Silver Spring Transit Center has run into a number of delays since construction began. The transit hub is supposed to be an anchor for a mixed-use development including apartments, condominiums and a hotel.

"We are awaiting a proposal from the contractor with respect to remediation. Under the terms of the arrangement, the contractor has the right and the obligation to come forth with a remediation plan," Berliner said.

He said the county will not be on the hook for the mistake, and that the contractor will have to make up the difference.

The expected completion date had been set for early summer. A completion date is now in doubt.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: badabing; badaboom; contractors; crooks; montgomerycounty; silverspring; transitcenter

1 posted on 01/31/2012 4:59:36 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Abundy; Albion Wilde; AlwaysFree; AnnaSASsyFR; bayliving; BFM; cindy-true-supporter; ...
Foulger-Pratt used a sub-contractor to pour the concrete -- La Plata based Facchina Construction.

Must...stifle...Mafia...jokes...

Maryland "Freak State" PING!

2 posted on 01/31/2012 5:01:56 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Remember, Maryland ( THE Freak state) is a "sanctuary" state. So probably the illegals on the construction project used latino standards. Don't worry though. I am sure the stooge of a governnor, omally, will raise taxes or fees or something.
3 posted on 01/31/2012 5:07:28 PM PST by hal ogen (1st Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I’d like an explanation of how one can increase the thickness (not just the thickness, but the structural strength implied by the thickness) of poured concrete roadway/trafficway without tearing the whole freaking thing out and rebuilding it.

(Hint: I already know the answer)


4 posted on 01/31/2012 5:16:29 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (The only economic certainty: When it all blows up, Krugman will say we didn't spend enough.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
Ground penetrating radar ?
5 posted on 01/31/2012 5:18:45 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Eh ?)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

I don’t think you can.


6 posted on 01/31/2012 5:21:26 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

How do you pour that much mud without someone noticing its one and a half inch short.


7 posted on 01/31/2012 5:25:42 PM PST by winodog
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To: hal ogen

Robert B Reiccccchhhhhhhhhh would no doubt approve of latino standards since he said something along the lines of white guys no longer need bother with construction jobs.


8 posted on 01/31/2012 5:27:00 PM PST by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Are we still in the United States? This is something that happens in foreign countries...


9 posted on 01/31/2012 5:27:44 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: winodog

Well a 2x8 is only 1.5x7.5


10 posted on 01/31/2012 5:28:29 PM PST by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
". . . the county will not be on the hook for the mistake, and that the contractor will have to make up the difference."

Get ready for a protracted delay.

11 posted on 01/31/2012 5:34:43 PM PST by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Even if it was poured as originally planned and passed inspection...then collapsed, is the City or County on the hook for missing some specifications during inspections? Hell no.

Did it have the required amount of steel/rebar reinforcement in the pours? 1 1/2” missing in a slab means rebar must not have prescribed clearance and distance from the surface and from each other. Just minor details. Engineer/architect will say it was over designed to begin with and less concrete makes it lighter.


12 posted on 01/31/2012 5:36:07 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“”Specifications for the project called for there to be 10 inches of concrete. The analysis that has been done has shown that for significant portions of the second floor and the third floor, there’s only eight and a half inches,” Berliner said.”

Any DINGBAT paying for the work should be checking concrete depth BEFORE it’s poured. Oh, yea, it was probably an Affirmative Action person doing that.


13 posted on 01/31/2012 5:36:51 PM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Newt will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: winodog

Hard to imagine, isn’t it? In this kind of project, I am sure there are specs and guidelines as to how far beneath the surface the rebar inside the concrete has to be. Meaning, there should be a “cage” of rebar I’d reckon 7.5” top to bottom inside the concrete if the desired final thickness is to be 10.5”. And before you pour, there are dozens of inspections and there are screed lines above the pour. So how this could be “missed” without the whole thing being planned (incorrectly) from the outset is difficult to imagine.


14 posted on 01/31/2012 5:41:04 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (The only economic certainty: When it all blows up, Krugman will say we didn't spend enough.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
I’d like an explanation of how one can increase the thickness (not just the thickness, but the structural strength implied by the thickness) of poured concrete roadway/trafficway without tearing the whole freaking thing out and rebuilding it.

I believe that something similar happened with the Herndon/Monroe transit garage/park&ride in Fairfax VA. Place was only a few years old and needed major rework including drainage enhancements, resurfacing (and then overlaying with this weird rubberized compound) and installation of a LOT of very large steel I-beams.

I lived through that mess the Spring and Summer it was going on. They were shutting the garage down 1/4 at a time over the course of four to six months.
15 posted on 01/31/2012 5:43:21 PM PST by tanknetter
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To: SaraJohnson

Wanna bet? Look up “Big Dig.”


16 posted on 01/31/2012 5:46:49 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Razzz42

I was thinking the same thing. This ain’t gonna be easy to “remediate...”


17 posted on 01/31/2012 5:47:51 PM PST by NVDave
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To: NVDave

Remediation?...remediation?...we don’t need no stinkin’ remediation!


18 posted on 01/31/2012 6:04:06 PM PST by hal ogen (1st Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Eight and a half is the new ten.

Hey, this project is a great job creator. What a concept. build it wrong, tear it down, build it again. Three times the jobs of just doing it right the first time.

Union got this stuff figured out a long time ago.


19 posted on 01/31/2012 6:09:18 PM PST by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Eight and a half is the new ten.

Hey, this project is a great job creator. What a concept. build it wrong, tear it down, build it again. Three times the jobs of just doing it right the first time.

Union got this stuff figured out a long time ago.


20 posted on 01/31/2012 6:09:39 PM PST by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
This is the end result of bad inspectors...period!
Auditors find rampant problems in highway construction inspections
Construction inspection services contracts were often missing several critical pieces of information that could be used to ensure the state was getting its money’s worth. Auditors found that contracts had no scopes of work – detailed lists of tasks that must be done under the contract.

Depth, width, length...that's it! Inspectors do the paper work and the company gets paid.
And we're not even considering that forms come in set heights!

So if it wasn't the right form height then the wrong forms were deliberately used to make the contractor more money.
And if they used a slipform paver then they had to know the specific depth to even set the machine up to lay the road!

Corruption, collusion and fraud, all the way, IMO.

21 posted on 01/31/2012 6:15:20 PM PST by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Corruption, collusion and fraud, all the way, IMO.

Damn, sounds just like D.C.!

22 posted on 01/31/2012 6:19:36 PM PST by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Add two inches of asphalt.


23 posted on 01/31/2012 6:30:21 PM PST by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: tanknetter

I had a construction lawsuit where the contractor was a design-build guy, which meant that they did both. Well, they subcontracted the structural steel design out to a guy who used a very green kid and didn’t check his work. Bottom line: after the concrete was poured, the floor had a belly in the middle (you could see that it was concave) and, if you looked at steel corrugate decking from below, you could see it buckled in a lot of places. Problem: inadequate sizing of I-beams for joists. Solution: We hired a structural steel expert who designed a system of welding plates to reinforce the joists at the critical load points. Once that was done, they poured a special floor leveling compound, to get the floors flat. Whatta mess.


24 posted on 01/31/2012 6:33:53 PM PST by JewishRighter (Anybody but Hussein)
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To: tanknetter

I had a construction lawsuit where the contractor was a design-build guy, which meant that they did both. Well, they subcontracted the structural steel design out to a guy who used a very green kid and didn’t check his work. Bottom line: after the concrete was poured, the floor had a belly in the middle (you could see that it was concave) and, if you looked at steel corrugate decking from below, you could see it buckled in a lot of places. Problem: inadequate sizing of I-beams for joists. Solution: We hired a structural steel expert who designed a system of welding plates to reinforce the joists at the critical load points. Once that was done, they poured a special floor leveling compound, to get the floors flat. Whatta mess.


25 posted on 01/31/2012 6:33:53 PM PST by JewishRighter (Anybody but Hussein)
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To: philman_36

“Add two inches of asphalt.”

Wait, wet newspaper is so much cheaper!


26 posted on 01/31/2012 6:38:14 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (The only economic certainty: When it all blows up, Krugman will say we didn't spend enough.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
...wet newspaper...

You beast! Think of all the trees you would have to kill to do that!
/environmentalist impression

27 posted on 01/31/2012 6:48:20 PM PST by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: winodog

That is how you pad the bottom line. Who is going to notice....?


28 posted on 01/31/2012 7:10:07 PM PST by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

GREAT UNION CONTRACTOR.


29 posted on 01/31/2012 7:18:16 PM PST by ncfool (The new USSA - United Socialist States of AmeriKa. Welcome to Obummers world or Obamaville USSA.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I’ve spoken with numerous large govt contractors that bid on contracts assuming they’ll only deliver 80% of the RFP. Its the only way to be competitive on price.

So they got 8 1/2 inches of concrete where the spcs say 10, which is 85%. Seems they got an extra 5%.


30 posted on 01/31/2012 8:34:47 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks; Palio di Siena

I was freepmailed on my joke about the subcontractor. Apparently, the Facchina company is a conservative donor that does good work, and Folgier-Pratt goofed in this case, which actually makes it scarier, since I work in a Folgier-Pratt building that had to have some of its floors reinforced shortly after it opened for business.

My apologies for implying mob ties.


31 posted on 01/31/2012 8:45:38 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: driftdiver

32 posted on 01/31/2012 8:47:05 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“...Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Bechtel expanded its energy engineering activities. In 1963, Bechtel began construction of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in California. However the company was embarrassed in 1977 when it installed a 420-ton nuclear-reactor vessel backwards at the power plant in San Onofre.[4]...”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechtel


33 posted on 01/31/2012 8:49:12 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Maryland Community News Online ......... washingtonpost.com
34 posted on 01/31/2012 9:06:07 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: Razzz42
In this link the article has a few further tidbits and a link to videos of the construction project.
35 posted on 01/31/2012 9:18:58 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
I’d like an explanation of how one can increase the thickness (not just the thickness, but the structural strength implied by the thickness) of poured concrete roadway/trafficway without tearing the whole freaking thing out and rebuilding it.

More concrete on top alone will increase the slab strength if the bottom steel is in tension. If the top steel is in tension, they will need to add a layer of top steel in the topping. They can make the correction by scarifying the top surface. Add a bonding agent. Add a layer of top steel where needed. Place a topping concrete overlay.

36 posted on 01/31/2012 9:21:11 PM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

“It may”. (increase strength)

You sound like you know more about the specifics than I do, me being only casually acquainted with a modest number of foundation pours, walkways, strictly residential stuff....although mostly in CA and EQ standards have REALLY cranked the req’ments in recent years. My brother just built an addition onto his house, single story but rather on a hill, with slidy clay soil, to boot. 600 sq foot addition, I think there were 16 qty 24” diam piers drilled 18’ below grade. There was a hell of a lot more 1” rebar (in quads) than I ever thought I would see in a residential build.

Personally, I belong to the school that says steel is very cheap and it is foolish to even come close to scrimping on it.

Nevertheless...I still say it would not be easy to add a 2.5” think “frosting” layer to an existing pour and have embedded steel well centered in the pour such that much add’l strength would develop. I think such a pour would have to be managed with a hell of a lot more skill than the current contractor exercised. And be subject to bad cracking over voids. I don’t know if it snows in MD thus implying freeze-thaw and salt but that is bad stuff when it comes to concrete and maybe that’s why the super fat slab was spec’ed in the first place. I agree that amazing things can be done with adhesives, but color me skeptical that the original as-spec’ed strength could be achieved with a frosting layer.

The issue with busways is that if cracks develop, you end up with heavy buses pounding and pounding on the divots in the surface.


37 posted on 01/31/2012 9:47:51 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (The only economic certainty: When it all blows up, Krugman will say we didn't spend enough.)
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

Mentioning San Onofre nuke construction, back in my concrete (minor structures) construction days, reminds me of the time I was talking to a labor that worked on that project.

Seems when pouring one of the domes, after every section poured, it was x-rayed. Small bubbles were appearing, enough to at first recommend more extensive concrete vibration. Further pours and x-rays showed the same bubbles, enough to change the mix design besides the extensive concrete vibration. Further pours and more x-rays, bubbles still constantly appearing throughout the pours.

Finally due to stringent quality control for nuclear plant construction a section of a newly poured concrete showing these bubbles in x-rays was remove and sent to a lab for analysis. Result and recommendation that came back was to prevent concrete labors from spitting shells from sunflower seeds during the pours.


38 posted on 01/31/2012 10:20:37 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Ultra-high performance concrete.


39 posted on 02/01/2012 2:49:35 PM PST by sauropod (You can elect your very own tyranny - Marc Levin)
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