Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site



Vector Technologies Ltd.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Early Silver Line Concrete Tests Favorable

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

More items for Program/Project Management
More items from North America

Comment | More

Initial testing triggered by a whistleblower lawsuit, which called out faulty concrete panels on Washington D.C.’s Silver Line Metro stations, suggests that the problem may not be as widespread as once feared.

The lawsuit pointed out that the use of incorrect stone, along wtih improperly mixed concrete, could lead to the breakdown of concrete panels at Silver Line stations slated to open in 2020. In the initial testing, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority took core samples from 20 of the panels.

Whistleblower Lawsuit

In May it was revealed that issues with the panels discovered along the $2.7 billion Silver Line Metro extension in Northern Virginia were apparently known in 2016, according to the timing of the whistleblower lawsuit.

More than a year before the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and contractor Capital Rail Constructors were made aware of the issue with the panels, Nathan Davidheiser, who worked for subcontractor Universal Concrete Products, filed the whistleblower lawsuit. Universal Concrete Products produced the faulty panels; Davidheiser alleged he was instructed by his employer to lie about quality-control tests during their fabrication.

According to WTOP, both the Airports Authority and CRC noted that they recognized flaws in the concrete panels in the beginning of 2017. As a result, the FBI and U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General conducted an investigation, as federal money was spent on the second phase of the project.

Earlier this month, the state of Virginia, along with the federal government, joined Davidheiser's suit against Universal Concrete Products for allegedly knowingly providing precast concrete panels that did not meet contract specifications, along with cutting corners regarding quality-control requirements and falsifying records related to panel quality.

Recent Findings

The first half of the test samples taken have not revealed any significant issues, noted Charles Stark, MWAA vice president for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. 

Two labs—one for the Airports Authority and another for the contractor building the rail line—are taking a look at the sample results. So far there has been no evidence of microcracking or a reaction taking place, according to Stark. If a reaction were to occur, it would be fueled by water getting into the panels; to prevent this, and in response to the improper concrete mixture, the contractor will be providing protective silane coatings every 10 years.

“We’re fairly certain that, unless we see something untoward in the remaining laboratory examinations, keeping water out of the concrete will preclude any problem going forward,” Stark said.

Test results will likely be released in the next three weeks, with Metro reviewing the results and testing separately. The panels must also undergo certain material certifications.

Test trains could be running on part of the tracks as early as October.


Tagged categories: concrete; Contractors; Government; Infrastructure; Testing + Evaluation

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (7/24/2018, 8:34 AM)

Presumably they are talking about using reactive aggregates, which increase alkali-silica reaction (ASR) - reducing moisture is a great method to slow this down. However, aren't these panels holding back (moist) soil? If so, simply putting silane on the front wouldn't stop the main source of moisture intrusion. ASR also takes time - perhaps these panels will be fine for 20 years rather than the 50+ they should have been designed for. Secondly, the other accusation was an overly high water:cement ratio, which means that they should be doing strength tests on the cores.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches
Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.

Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
Stop Guessing the Classification Rating of Your Cross Hatch Adhesion Testing Results
SEMicro's newly-patented Adhesion Testing Analyzer takes the guesswork out of cross hatch tape adhesion testing standards such as ASTM D3359 and ISO 2409.

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. or Call 412-931-6655.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA-Tator EH&S Services
• Ambient & Worker Exposure Air Monitoring
• Safety & Health Program Development
• Lead Paint Assessments
& Specifications
• Health Hazard & Jobsite Safety Assessments
Call 1-800-532-3633

ABKaelin, LLC
Programs/Training/Monitoring for Silica, Lead, Noise, Beryllium, Hexavalent Chromium, Cadmium, Hazardous Waste*PM10 & TSP-Lead Ambient Air Monitoring*SSPC C3/C5

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Introducing the ALPHA1 Blasting Robot
Once installed and commissioned – simply


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us