Hank Investigates: Modern's mess?
The Modern Continental logo is a familiar sight on the massive Big Dig project and for years the focal point of Big Dig fiascoes.
From the 1999 opening of the Leverett Connector’s notoriously bumpy pavement to the massive leaks in the Fort Point Channel in 2001, investigators pointed to modern's construction work as the cause.
In September 2004 the leaks in the 93 tunnel and dozens of faulty panels sent water gushing, clogging traffic for ten miles.
Jordan Levy, MA Turnpike Board Member
"This should not have happened."
Again modern was blamed and they promised to pay to fix it.
We found these documents proving the company had more than 271 federal safety violations and was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In fact the company itself was financially collapsing in 2004, its owner local businessman Les Marino admitted it was out of money.
And we found it was enraging drivers whose cars were damaged by debris.
Maura Vogel, car owner
"It sounded like an explosion in my window."
And targeted in a congressional investigation for multi-million dollar cost overruns.
This letter proves former board member Christy Mihos warned Masspike four years ago of Modern's precarious finances.
Hank Phillippi Ryan
"What role if any do you think the situation at Modern Continental had to play in what happened?"
Christy Mihos, independent candidate for governor
"We don't know, did they cut corners? Did they adhere to the design specifications? Did they adhere to the construction specification?"
In their big building on Memorial Drive, a deserted front lobby, officials would only talk to us on their house phone.
Hank Phillippi Ryan
"Are you responsible for what happened?"
But had nothing to say:
Finally this statement, more than 15 hours after the collapse:
"Modern Continental is cooperating fully with the investigation into the cause of this tragedy. We are confident that our work fully complied with the plans and specifications provided by the central artery tunnel project."
Modern Continental also expressed condolences to the victim's family. Even before today Modern's work for the state was over. Highway officials banned it from even bidding on major projects and the Masspike suspended it from working above the tunnels.
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