Some of the drains lead nowhere; others are filled with debris; still others appear to have been connected with substandard, cracked and leaking pipe, according to a state review and outside sources familiar with the project.(Courant)State transportation officials became suspicious last spring, they hired an engineering firm to inspect the drains.
About 300 catch basins were designed into the project. About 280 had been reinspected as of last week, Gruhn said. Of those, about 270 need further work. Preliminary indications are that perhaps as many as 100 will require significant reconstruction, Gruhn said, including an undetermined number that now lie beneath permanently paved, completed sections of the roadway.It is quite a stunning amount of rework. One could almost say this is a clear cut example of the lack of effort by the CTDOT, but in the cozy world of consultants that's not what gets put into the report.
"About a third of them, roughly, require some kind of additional work," Gruhn said. "Some of that may be relatively simple once we get in there. But until we actually get in, remove the top of the basin and determine how the basin was constructed, it's very difficult to know exactly what the extent of those repairs will be. (Courant)
So far, no one is accepting responsibility for the problems. Gruhn said he has found nothing to suggest that state transportation employees share any responsibility.Someone made the decision to hire these particular inspectors and construction firms, so if it wasn't the CTDOT then who? And why shouldn't the CTDOT be held accountable for the failings of its hired help?
"At this point we have nothing to indicate that," Gruhn said. "In fact, knowing some of the people involved from our staff, I would be very surprised."
Because of the volume of work overseen by the state transportation department, Gruhn said, it is forced to rely heavily on private engineers for inspections. (Courant)
Recently, The Hour, chided the CTDOT for the deplorable conditions that Connecticut Light and Power left the stretch of route 7 it dug up in order to bury powerlines. The road had been recently repaved, but after CLP came through, ruts and uneven patchwork dot the road. CLP was required to restore the road to the same condition. Even elementary school children would not have approved the road as returned to the original state.
That brings us to another Route 7 topic — that part of it in Norwalk and northward where utility work has left a decent road with a less-than-desirable roadbed that jars commuters as they bounce their way over the patchwork paving.It's a rankling observation that if time after time substandard, incomplete or delayed work is the caliber of an agency's output, then something is seriously wrong. No one should accept CTDOT's excuse that they didn't know the work wasn't done correctly. It is their job to know.
The original plan was that the road would be paved extensively, restoring it to its original state.
Anyone who has driven the road can attest that the repairs fall far short of the mark. What puzzles us is how DOT can just accede to Connecticut Light & Power Co.’s position that the repaving isn’t needed. We put up with the inconvenience because we know the work was needed to bring more electricity to this power-starved area. We did expect,however,that the utility would live up to its word and properly restore the road in Norwalk, a road that was only repaved a few years ago. (The Hour, Editorial 9/29/06)
The Hartford Courant, The Mess Runs Deep, by EDMUND H. MAHONY, 10/1/06.