Caltrans Under Fire for Alleged Falsification of Bridge Testing, Failures in Other Structure Inspections

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for improving mobility throughout the state by managing the highway systems and various public transportation systems. The public relies on Caltrans’ management of the highway and bridge program to ensure that reliable inspection tests are conducted on the foundations of bridges, retaining walls, freeway ramps, and various other structures. However, the agency is receiving criticism and is under investigation for mismanagement after a technician was recently accused of falsifying bridge testing.

It was announced on November 15 that Caltrans had fired two employees amidst the investigations into faulty and fabricated structural testing on bridges and highway projects throughout California. Some of these incidents include a carpool lane connector and an under-crossing retaining wall in Los Angeles. According to The Los Angeles Times, transportation officials suspect that the accused worker falsified information on at least three different projects in 2007 and 2008, including a 405 Freeway bridge expansion in Culver City and the La Sierra Avenue bridge in Riverside. In addition, a tower pile test of the Bay Bridge is believed to have been problematic in addition to missing acoustic testing altogether. However, Caltrans asserts that the bridge is not dangerous.

The investigation of Caltrans testing irregularities will involve evaluation of technician training and test data collection to establish whether criminal activity took place with regard to employees stealing state materials and managers failing to uphold their duty of firing employees determined to have falsified data or stolen items. Caltrans is reported to have already carried out measures to make sure more stringent processes are implemented to help prevent data fabrication from occurring again in the future.

Hazardous road conditions, poorly designed intersections, and ill-repaired highway structures can cause serious injury and fatal motor vehicle accidents. Depending on the circumstances of a vehicle crash, the city or entity in charge of maintaining a road, intersection, or structure may be held legally responsible if an injury or fatal collision occurs. A Los Angeles car crash lawyer at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley understands how important it is for you and your loved ones to obtain the compensation you deserve from negligent parties. We are committed to standing by our clients every step of the way. For a free, confidential consultation, please call us today at 213-514-8332.