Posted on July 30, 2018 by admin
The Department of Transportation handed over concrete samples from the Potter School Road Bridge to a state legislator on Thursday following criticism that it wasn’t going to test at least two area structures for the mineral causing foundations to crumble.
Rep. Thomas Delnicki, R-South Windsor, said he is taking the samples from the Willington bridge that goes over Interstate 84 to Lyle Wray, executive director of the Capitol Region Council of Governments, in order for CRCOG to test for pyrrhotite.
Wray and Delnicki requested the state test concrete from bridges that are being replaced in Willington and Coventry, but DOT officials declined to test the material, saying they are confident it does not contain pyrrhotite.
In a June 15 letter to Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker, Delnicki questioned why the state wasn’t doing more, choosing to rely on its belief that the material is safe.
Redeker responded to Delnicki in a July 5 letter, explaining that the department sought input from its various experts, who are confident concrete used on state projects is high quality.
“Please be assured the Department of Transportation takes the pyrrhotite issue very seriously and did not intend to downplay the possibility of pyrrhotite related damage to our structures,” Redeker wrote. “I also want to assure you that the department has the safety of the public as a top priority in all engineering and business decisions, and, to be clear, it is the department’s determination that there is no public safety issue with the state’s transportation infrastructure due to pyrrhotite.”
Redeker told Delnicki that the DOT performed a field inspection of the Potter School Road Bridge and was able to visually determine that the aggregate used in the concrete was “trap rock,” which is typically sourced from quarries in central Connecticut.
“Trap rock is a high quality aggregate and is used extensively in concrete construction,” Redeker said. “We have not experienced any pyrrhotite in our Connecticut quarried trap rock formations.”
He added that the Willington quarry linked to crumbling foundations does not produce trap rock.
To ease Delnicki’s concerns, the DOT provided samples from various parts of the Potter School Road Bridge to be tested.
“I’m glad the Department of Transportation responded to my request for core samples on the bridge in question,” Delnicki said. “I think it’s paramount that any time we’re doing any work like that, we actually take stock of whether we can conceivably have contaminated concrete, especially in the northeastern part of the state.”
Delnicki said he expects results from CRCOG soon, but is not sure when they will be available.