Concrete Repair To I-80 Nearly Complete

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Construction defects along a portion of newly rebuilt Interstate 80 in Reno and Sparks should be completed in about a month, state officials said.

The three-quarter mile stretch had to be torn up after officials determined in January that the concrete was improperly poured.

Meanwhile, they said discussions continue between the Nevada Department of Transportation and Frehner Construction Co., over who should pay for the $1 million mistake.

Repairs to newly rebuilt sections of freeway were found necessary when tests revealed that some reinforcement bars shifted when concrete was poured.

The problem could have substantially reduced the 35- to 40-year life span of the new freeway, officials said.

NDOT spokesman Scott Magruder said the state has acknowledged some responsibility because its inspectors did not notice the problem earlier than they did.

"The responsibility of the contractor is to do the job correctly," Magruder said. "NDOT had the responsibility to make sure. That's why its a shared responsibility."

Magruder added that the setback shouldn't delay the overall reconstruction of the Spaghetti Bowl, which is set for completion in June 2005.

The $65 million project is designed to improve traffic flow where Interstate 80 meets U.S. 395.