Construction firm behind 6/10 Connector project fined over contaminated materials
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — United States Attorney Zachary Chuha said Wednesday that Barletta Heavy Division, Inc., a Massachusetts construction firm, has been fined over an investigation into fill used in the 6/10 Connector project in Providence.
Federal prosecutors said stone and dirt from two separate Barletta job sites, in Boston and Pawtucket, were used as fill in the project.
“This fill, which was required to either be used at its original location, or subjected to additional testing and handling, did not meet the requirements of the contract,” said Cunha. “When federal tax dollars fund work in our communities, we expect that the government will get what it bargains for.”
Barletta will pay a criminal fine of $500,000. The construction firm will also pay $1,000,000 to the government, “representing more than twice the government funds paid as a result of the relevant claims.”
“Under the agreement, Barletta accepts responsibility for the actions of its employees and admits to the facts that constitute making false statements in connection with a federally funded highway project,” Cunha added.
Barletta has agreed to implement ongoing monitoring, reporting, and compliance measures for a period of three years.
Dennis Ferreira, the former superintendent for the project, is also expected to plead guilty in federal court to three counts of making false statements in connection to the federally funded highway project.
Ferreira allegedly caused an environmental report to be sent to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation that falsely represented the origin and environmental quality of the stone imported from Massachusetts.
It is also alleged that later that year, Ferreira falsely stated that none of the material imported from Pawtucket was used on the project during a meeting with the Federal Highway Administration.