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State Senator

Norm Needleman

Representing Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook

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Senator Needleman, Representative Carpino Respond to Department of Transportation After Receiving Additional Information About Arrigoni Bridge Project

Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Portland) and State Representative Christie Carpino (R-Portland) announced they have responded to the Department of Transportation, requesting to stay involved in continued developments regarding the Arrigoni Bridge project soon to start in Portland. After requesting additional information about the project earlier this month, the legislators received a letter from the DOT with details about a contractor hired to oversee the project. In a response, they then asked the Department for a meeting shortly before construction is slated to begin on the bridge next year.

In a letter dated July 17, Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti provided details about the role FIGG Engineering will play during work on the bridge project. FIGG Engineering previously worked on a bridge in Miami, Florida that collapsed onto a roadway in March 2018, killing six and injuring eight, spurring Sen. Needleman and Rep. Carpino to inquire about the company’s selection for the project amid concerns about the company’s track record.

Commissioner Giulietti explained that FIGG Engineering was hired as one of several companies providing “project oversight,” specifically focusing on construction engineering and inspection services. Their role among other contractors, Giuletti wrote, is to ensure the prime contractor is building the project to contract standards.

“In essence, their role is quality assurance,” he wrote, “an additional, comprehensive, focused and detail-oriented layer of quality assurance to affirm that the prime contractor is upholding its end of the contract.” Giulietti noted FIGG has successfully worked on previous DOT projects including the “Q” Bridge in New Haven and the I-95 Gold Star Bridge in Groton and New London.

Most importantly, Commissioner Giuletti wrote that no one at FIGG who worked on the Miami bridge will be involved in this project. Additionally, FIGG’s role here is less hands-on than in Miami, as they are providing oversight instead of directly designing the structure.

“We are very confident, as with all of our projects, that the Arrigoni project will be constructed and completed safely and in accordance with the contract plans and specifications,” Giuletti wrote.

In response to Giuletti’s letter, Sen. Needleman and Rep. Carpino wrote that they are “adamant that safety remains the foremost aspect of the work in question,” and requested updates on the project in coming weeks and months, including a meeting schedule closer to the project’s planned start in 2020 to discuss safety protocols. The full text of their letter is below.

July 23, 2019

Commissioner Joseph Giulietti Department of Transportation 2800 Berlin Turnpike Newington, CT 06111

Dear Commissioner Giulietti,

We appreciate your detailed letter to our concerns on the Arrigoni Bridge and FIGG engineering dated July 17, 2019. As the project in question represents a major transportation and economic opportunity for impacted towns, we are adamant that safety remains the foremost aspect of the work in question.

Your letter provides significant and important details as to FIGG Engineering’s role providing project oversight and we understand the company will be one of several involved as construction begins and continues. We further understand that FIGG Engineering is playing a different role in this work than it did in Miami, Florida and understand your confidence in the Arrigoni Bridge project.

We request that we remain updated on the progress of the bridge construction in coming weeks and months. We would like to request a meeting closer to the start of the project to discuss the safety protocols in place.

Sincerely,

State Representative Christie Carpino
State Senator Norman Needleman

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