ConnDOT: GOVERNOR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, DOT ANNOUNCE $17.5 MILLION AGREEMENT WITH INSURER FOR DEFECTIVE I-84 STORM DRAINS

 
 

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

NEWS RELEASE

2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546 NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT 06131-7546

FOR RELEASE: 3/22/2007
 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
Fax: (860) 594-3066
HOME-PAGE:www.ct.gov/dot
 

GOVERNOR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, DOT ANNOUNCE $17.5 MILLION AGREEMENT WITH INSURER FOR DEFECTIVE I-84 STORM DRAINS

 

Governor M. Jodi Rell, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ralph J. Carpenter today announced that the provider of L. G. DeFelice, Inc.'s performance bond will pay the state $17.5 million to settle claims stemming from the company's installation of defective storm drains on Interstate-84. 

 

The payment from United States Fidelity & Guaranty (USF&G) a division of Travelers - allows DOT to begin repairing the defective drains along a three-mile stretch of I-84 in Cheshire and Waterbury. Under the agreement signed today, the state retains the right to sue L.G. DeFelice for additional funds.

 

"I said we would protect the interests of the State and our taxpayers and that the responsible parties must be held accountable," Governor Rell said.  "Now we can move forward and I have directed the DOT to make the repairs as quickly as possible."

 

"From the time DOT first uncovered this defective work, I have had three goals: to ensure the safety of our commuters, to get the road fixed properly, and to do so without using any additional taxpayer money," Governor Rell said. "This agreement accomplishes those goals while safeguarding our ability to pursue additional legal remedies if

necessary."

 

"This money will help finish the job - redoing and repairing incompetent or possibly corrupt work - but we will aggressively act against anyone who should be held accountable for this construction debacle," Blumenthal said. "Only the insurer is paying today. Others responsible will be targeted and pursued for recovery.

 

"This step restores taxpayer money that almost disappeared down the drain, enabling the state to begin vital repairs. Inept, improper work installing and inspecting I-84 storm drains threatens huge financial costs and highway safety. There has been a pileup of problems in this roadway - unrelated to weather. My office is exploring all options - including legal action against other individuals and companies, including DeFelice and the Maguire Group - to recoup additional funds," Blumenthal added.

 

"The DOT is entrusted with millions of dollars of taxpayer money every year and it is our obligation to see that money is spent properly," Carpenter said. "I am pleased that the department has been able to negotiate this agreement and I commend USF&G for promptly investigating, evaluating and discharging its bond obligations fairly and responsibly in the resolution of this matter.

 

"I want to give a special word of gratitude to the members of the DOT's Office of Construction and the attorney general for their hard work and ultimate success in these negotiations," Carpenter added.

 

In early 2006, after extensive defects in the project's drainage system were discovered by DOT personnel, L.G. DeFelice of North Haven, the primary contractor for the project, walked off the job. The contract with the Maguire Group, Inc., of New Britain, hired by DOT to inspect the project and ensure contract compliance, was subsequently terminated.

 

A contract to repair the drains will now be crafted by the DOT and awarded so work can begin as quickly as possible. The majority of the repairs are expected to be completed this year.