by Sam Hieb
…That’s the decision DOT Secretary Lyndo Tippett in the wake of an I-40 screw-up:
To reduce the risk of such mistakes in the future, Tippett said he will consider whether some DOT roles should be shifted to private industry. DOT managers will take more care in planning “unique and innovative” projects and will spend more time inspecting construction sites, he said, while contractors will be held to higher performance standards.
“I am confident that the changes we are implementing will strengthen our program, provide better project delivery and oversight, and ensure that such a problem does not occur again,” Tippett wrote.
Kenneth B. Spaulding of Durham, a member of the state Board of Transportation, said he was surprised Tippett only started talking about some of these failsafes now.
“Quite frankly, I would have thought that these priorities were already in place,” he said.
He also questioned Tippett’s plan to consider privatizing more road work.
“It appears to me that this priority of additional privatization is not what we taxpayers are looking for,” he said. “I feel we’re looking for proper departmental review and supervision.”