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Federal Government Joins Whistleblower’s Lawsuit Over Faulty Concrete in Silver Line Project

by Fatimah Waseem May 17, 2018 at 10:15 am 12 Comments

The Justice Department and the Virginia attorney general’s office are joining a whistleblower’s lawsuit that accuses a subcontractor of intentionally using defective concrete for the $2.7 billion Silver Line project.

In 2016, Nathan Davidheiser, the whistleblower, filed the lawsuit against Universal Concrete Products Corp., alleging the company urged him to falsify records when concrete failed quality testing. Results showed concrete was prone to cracking and water erosion, according to the lawsuit.

The documents in the case, which include text messages ordering falsification of data, were unsealed Wednesday.

“Make something up and make sure it’s a good number,” one supervisor said, according to the lawsuit.

Davidheiser worked as a lab technician for Universal Concrete, which has a contract for the Silver Line project worth $4 million, according to the lawsuit.

Last month, the Silver Line project came under fire after it was revealed that major concrete issues in thousands of locations. Metro officials said they plan to coat panels every decade to boost their durability, an added cost that would be shouldered by the contractor.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

  • OneReally

    ” the $2.7 million Silver Line project.”

    That’s a new one. For that price I’m all for the Silver line.

    • vdiv

      Can’t be really “Silver” unless it goes to Sterling, right?
      We’ll take two of those, thank you very much!

  • 30yearsinreston

    This will be a good excuse to keep the Toll Road cash cow going
    What happens when the contractor declares bankruptcy

    • vdiv

      Nothing, unless there are criminal charges. They move onto the next “sub” contractor.

      • 30yearsinreston

        While we are left holding the bag

        • vdiv

          There is a “Silver Lining” for someone in that racket (also an endless supply of bad puns, sorry).

          What is very upsetting is that every attempt to look at the Silver Line in a positive way has been persistently thwarted. We are indeed holding the bag in many ways.

  • vdiv

    Miley Cyrus has as song about that. Is the extent of the substandard concrete use known at least? Can we get our money back? Oh…

  • Willie Reston

    I sincerely hope the costs of 100+ years of upkeep are being sought up front rather than just hoping this contractor will be around for that long to pay the ongoing maintenance bills. Sadly, I’m sure that is not the case.

    • The Constitutionalist

      Yeah right. In 100 years no one will be using Metro, everyone will be cycling to work. It’s just taking a very long time to catch on, that’s all. It really is better, I promise!

  • The Constitutionalist

    Hey everyone, just be happy that you now have so many different ways to fund the Metro and no choice about it at all!

    Don’t be upset, this is all for the greater good. Once this is finished we can start using the profits from Metro (HAHAHA) and increase the toll roads to cover our “free education.”

  • Greg

    The silver line is (at least) a $6 billion project, not $2.7 billion.

  • Greg

    Quite damning that the lawsuit was filed in 2106 and we are just now, 2 years later, hearing about it. Too late to halt construction, already 13 months behind schedule, and fix the bungled concrete. Great job WMAA and WMATA!

    One more reason why Brutalism is not good.

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