A former concrete quality control manager pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to commit wire fraud in connection with the U.S. Department of Transportation-funded Dulles Metrorail Project Phase II, an 11.4-mile stretch of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s (MWAA) 26-mile Silver Line extension.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria, contends that Andrew Nolan and quality control staff he supervised falsified test records knowing that prime contactor Capital Rail Constructors (CRC)—a Bethesda, Md.-based joint venture of Clark Construction Group and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co.—would reject concrete measuring air content outside a required 4.5-7.5 percent range. In documents supporting United States v. Andrew Nolan, the attorneys cite a) the defendant’s January 2014–June 2016 quality control technician and manager tenure with an unnamed subcontractor to whom CRC awarded a $6.1 million contract for production of precast panels, earmarked for placement along a Reston to Ashburn, Va., right of way; Nolan and subordinates’ knowledge of test results showing concrete mixes falling below 4 percent air; and, Nolan’s submission of falsified records to CRC, MWAA and the U.S. DOT.
Nolan faces a maximum of five years in prison and $250,000 fine, and is scheduled for sentencing in November. A plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of Virginia requires him to testify about criminal activity tied to the Dulles Metrorail Phase II case in any future proceedings. The Civil Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and Virginia Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint in intervention against Nolan and others under the federal False Claims Act and the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.
Documents released upon the plea agreement refer to the precast producer as “Company A.” However, two Washington Post reports earlier this year name Pennsylvania’s Universal Concrete Products as the supplier of 1,500-plus precast panels for the Silver Line extension. CRC also lists the producer among its subcontractors.
ENERGY BACKS NDT-ENABLED INSPECTION
Radiation Monitoring Devices (RMD), a subsidiary of Dynasil Corporation of America in Newton, Mass., has received a U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Program grant for a phase II project, “NDT techniques for Inspection of Concrete Structures in Nuclear Power Plants.”
Existing NDT techniques do not provide a full picture of structural integrity because of the difficulty in reliably assessing steel reinforcements’ condition. With the backing of Dynasil, a specialist in optical detection and analysis technology, RMD is developing a new Eddy Current sensor array with the capabilities of detecting defects in reinforced concrete faster and with higher sensitivity than current methods. It will be used to test for defects in nuclear power plant concrete structures, and promises to reduce inspection cost and time by providing more reliable data and decreasing shut down periods. In addition to nuclear power applications, RMD officials note, the public will benefit from new NDT technology with safer roads, bridges, buildings and other concrete structures.