Recently Released Metro Audit Highlights 2016 Oversight on Structural Conditions


A recent audit by the Office of the Inspector General addressed some incidents at Rhode Island Ave. Brentwood Station on the Red line in summer of 2016. On 8/31/16, a steel beam fell more than 16 feet to the ground, and the next day, pieces of concrete fell from the same area. Thankfully, no one was injured. The report found that Metro inspectors failed to identify poor structural conditions, but some of the Metro board members noted that this was 'old news' to them.

Metro board chairman Jack Evans responded to the findings, stating that that was the "old Metro," and that "Today it's a different Metro. We have rebuilt our inspections department and are continuing to work on that to make sure that, given all the work we have in front of us, that things are done properly [...]." The report recommended the development and implementation of investigative policies and procedures for hard to reach, non-visual areas. It also recommended that supervisors be required to check inspection reports for completeness and accuracy. Metro's stance on this is that they've already started this process, and are "confident in the inspection process."

Despite such progress, for the sake and safety of all of us in the DC region, it's important that the pressure on Metro not let up, and that they continue to work to provide safe and efficient public transportation services. The recent changes to Metro's policies, procedures, and safety standards should have been done years ago, and Metro still has a long way to go.