A concrete canopy that covers the platform of the unopened Cheverly Metro station is sagging to the point that construction workers have had to support it with wooden posts while engineers devise a solution.
That "discrepancy," as Metro calls it, is one of the several discovered in the concrete work in the $33.8 million contract to build the Landover and Cheverly stations and the roadbed between them according to Metro officials.
The resident engineer in charge of supervising the project was fired after the discrepancies in the concrete work were discovered, according to E. E. Wilhoyt Jr. Wilhoyt is the resident manager for Bechtel Corp., which in turn is the supervising engineer for all of Metro's construction.
Wilhoyt and Roy T. Dodge Metro's assistant general manager for construction and design, said they had found no evidence for wrongdoing in an investigations of the matter.
The Cheverly and Landover stations are on the New Carrollton line that is scheduled to open next July. The discrepancies in the concrete work will not delay that opening, according to Metro officials.
The line will be an extension from the operating Stadium-Armory station through Northeast Washington and out the U.S. 50 corridor to New Carrollton near the Beltway.
Granite Construction Co., a California firm, is the contractor for the stations. "There has been no indication that the contractor is not willing to pick up the cost" of correcting the discrepancies, Wilhoyt said.
Alfred L. Spencer, a construction engineer with Metro, said that concrete for the canopy was poured last fall. After that was completed, engineers began to take readings and discovered the lip of the canopy was "deflecting" downward.
Some deflection would be normal, Spencer said, but "by March we were convinced the thing was moving" beyond the normal range. Posts were placed under the canopy on June 17.
After a study of the canopy's design and test borings into the concrete, Spencer said, "we are fairly convinced that the design was adequate and that the amount of steel (reinforcing the concrete) appears to be all right. The only thing we can attribute (the deflection) to is that the steel was mislocated," Spencer emphasized that these conclusions were preliminary and could change.
Spencer explained that the reinforcing steel should have been located along the top curve of the ribs that hold up the canopy. Instead, test holes punched in the ribs have shown that the steel is closer to the bottom.
A possible but not final solution, Spencer said, might be to attach straps to the ribs and anchor them into the posts that support the canopy.
Wilhoyt, the Bechtel manager, said that other discrepancies discovered in the contract included improperly installed windscreens at one of the stations and an out-of-place column.
"Everything is pretty well corrected," Wilhoyt said. The resident engineer was fired specifically because "he was not doing his job up to standards," Wilhoyt said. A resident engineer typically reviews reports of construction from field inspectors and oversees the work of the contractor.
George Fryklund, project manager for Granite, the contractor said, "we certainly don't condone the work and don't want to defend it."
Concerning the Cheverly canopy, he said," It's really hard to say whether it was a mistake and whether anybody really noticed . . . What happens from time to time is that people go to sleep." No Granite employees have been fired as a result of the Cheverly problems, he said.
Bechtel receives an annual consulting fee from Metro for supervising construction of the system. The fee for the current year is $23 million.
Dodge, asked about the adequacy of Bechtel's supervision in light of both this and the construction accident that resulted in a flood and temporary closing of part of the operating subway, responded by saying that it was Bechtel that caught the discrepancies in theconcrete work at Cheverly and reported them to Metro.