A consulting firm that is being investigated in a fatal tunnel collapse in Boston was ordered to stop helping inspect repairs, shortly after news reports revealed that the state had hired it for the job.
Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the project manager for the $14.6 billion highway project, had been doing daily field inspections of work in the Interstate 90 connector tunnel, a company spokesman told the Boston Herald for a story published Tuesday.
The state transportation department sought the companyâ€™s help. â€œWeâ€™ll do what weâ€™re asked to help support the reopening of the tunnel,â€ said Andy Paven, a spokesman for Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The company is among the entities being investigated by state and federal authorities since a ceiling panel collapse killed a woman in July. No findings have been issued, and the company has said it stands by its work.
Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey â€“ acting as governor while Governor Mitt Romney is out of state and running to succeed him as he explores a presidential bid â€“ said she told Transportation Secretary John Cogliano on Tuesday to halt any involvement by Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff in the inspections. Both Healey and Romney have criticized the companyâ€™s oversight of the Big Dig project in the past.
Cogliano would not tell the Associated Press who asked the firm to help with inspections, saying only, â€œI take full responsibility.â€