Metro

Hundreds of Cracks Found in Silver Line Concrete, Inspector Finds

Silver Line construction officials maintain that the project will still be ready for riders in spring or summer 2021

Metro Silver Line
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Metro’s inspector general has found almost 350 cracks in concrete panels used in construction of the Silver Line in Northern Virginia, according to a new report on the results of a yearslong investigation.

Inspectors found 184 panels with a total of 342 cracks. They recommended coating them with a solution and treating them every five to seven years, not every 10 years as was first recommended. These cracks were in stations. Cracks previously were found in rail yards.

Metro is not building this project; the airports authority is.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said they were “evaluating the report with our contractors and are awaiting their input. We will work with the contractors and WMATA to determine a path forward

Metro's inspector general, Geoff Cherrington, says Metro should only accept the project once the flaws have been fixed.

“We have prepared a comprehensive report clearly identifying deficiencies that need to be mitigated before WMATA accepts the project," he said in a statement. "OIG’s recommendations include a set of specific follow-on inspections that are critical to ensuring the safety of WMATA’s riders and employees.”

Silver Line construction officials maintain that the project will still be ready for riders in spring or summer 2021.

Metro first asked the inspector general to look into the concrete in 2018.

Significant concrete issues were found in 2018 along the second phase of the Silver Line Metro extension. The issues have raised serious questions about quality control in the largest transportation project in the region.

Last year, a concrete company paid $1 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it falsified test data on materials used in the project. Federal prosecutors alleged that a subcontractor falsified records to hide tests showing that the concrete's air content would make it more likely to crack.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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