Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato (R-N.Y.) said yesterday that hearings will be held next month on "tremendous deficiencies" in the New York City Transit Authority's supervision of two multimillion-dollar subway projects.
During the summer, the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) suspended remaining federal payments of $75 million for the two unfinished projects, the 63rd Street tunnel from Manhattan to Queens and the Archer Avenue line in Queens. D'Amato told reporters that federal prosecutors were also investigating.
D'Amato, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, said a report by the Department of Transportation inspector general's office showed serious shortcomings in the Transit Authority's construction-management practices on the two lines.
A copy of the July 26 report, obtained by The Washington Post, showed that the review covered two segments where former labor secretary Raymond J. Donovan's company, Schiavone Construction Co., was the general contractor. The DOT investigators said they chose these segments -- out of 13 that were federally funded -- because the monitoring was entirely by New York Transit Authority personnel.
D'Amato said he was especially concerned by the fact that more than 3,000 delivery tickets, supposed to be signed by Transit Authority inspectors when concrete arrives at a site, could not be found for the Archer Avenue section.
The inspector general's report said the missing documentation covered some 48,000 cubic yards of concrete, out of 81,510 that was supposed to be poured at the site.
"In addition," the report said, "concrete-inspection reports, in many instances, could not be matched with corresponding delivery tickets. As a result, there is no assurance that all of the 48,000 cubic yards of concrete was actually received and poured."
The Transportation Department investigators said they were also concerned about the "structural integrity" of the two subway sections because required concrete-strength tests frequently were not conducted and because "there was no evidence in most instances of follow-up" work on tests that showed deficiencies in the concrete.
The report recommended further tests to determine the "structural integrity" of both lines. It also said the "reliability and safety" of a massive steel crossbeam in the 63rd street tunnel had yet to be established. Because of a Transit Authority "design error," the crossbeam was installed too low to permit the passage of trains until Transit Authority officials had a large chunk of it shaved away.
D'Amato asked: "Are some of these records missing because people deliberately disposed of them? . . . Was the cement delivered or wasn't it?" He said there were "all kinds of relevant questions that needed to be answered."
D'Amato made his remarks after meeting here with Robert R. Kiley, chairman of the Transit Authority's parent agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Ralph Stanley, the head of UMTA, about a plan "to improve the management" of New York subway projects.
Schiavone Construction Co. lawyer Theodore Geiser said in a phone interview that the firm welcomes the testing under way at Transit Authority expense. He expressed confidence that Schiavone Construction Co. delivered and installed the required quantity of concrete.
"If the TA [Transit Authority] is unable to locate the records, we have copies," Geiser said. "No one has asked us for them yet . . . . We have delivery tickets for everything and what's more, we have canceled checks for the payments to suppliers."