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DOT Suspends Work on Moses Wheeler Bridge

State identifies 'a systematic problem' at construction site.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation Monday ordered a "suspension of work" on the following a that reportedly injured a worker.

Saturday's incident came less than three months after a , which caused damage to a parked truck and led to a minor fuel spill.

"It is the Department's opinion that these occurrences were entirely preventable and are not attributable to a series of random occurrences or anomalies," the DOT wrote in a letter addressed to the project's contractors.

"Rather, we believe these incidents are indicative of a systematic problem and a weakness in the Walsh/PCL safety program on this project."

"The Mayor's office was in fact in contact with state DOT yesterday to express our concerns about safety at the job site," Marc Dillon, Stratford Mayor John A. Harkins' chief of staff, wrote in an email Tuesday. "We are grateful the DOT took swift and appropriate action."

In addition to the two crane accidents, the DOT referenced two other "serious safety incidents" in the past six months. [The letter can be read as a PDF in the photo gallery that accompanies this article.]

"In each instance your workers, Department representatives and the general public were exposed to significant hazards that could have resulted in much more serious consequences than actually occurred. We are fortunate that no one was seriously injured, or worse, in any of these incidents."

The DOT called on the senior management of Walsh Construction Company and PCL Civil Contractors to meet them at their New Haven offices no later than Tuesday, April 17, to discuss:

  • The status of the investigation into the crane toppìing on Saturday, April 14, closing the Dock Access Road for over six hours and causing damage to private property of the Boardwalk Marina.
  • The status of reimbursement for prior damage to the Boardwalk Marina due to the incident of January 25, 2012.
  • The measures to be implemented to improve worksite safety including: safe work procedures, worker training, and operator training. Any revisions to the site safety plan should also be addressed.
  • In light of the accelerated work schedule, worker fatigue has become a concern. There is an obvious carry-over to work-site safety.
  • Organizational changes that might be necessary for project field supervision, safety and quaiity control.

A DOT spokesman told the Connecticut Post a decision to restart work on the Moses Wheeler Bridge project could come within a few days.

bob wilson April 17, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Wat to go D.O.T. pick the low biddr and thats what you get............another wonderful D.o.t. decision.

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