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Investigation by the feds into alleged ‘false claims’ of work and inspections on Washington Bridge. Here’s what we know.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General are actively investigating the closure of the westbound span of the Washington Bridge. The investigation is specifically centered around an allegation suggesting the submission of false claims for payment and/or false statements in support of such payments to the U.S. government. The authorities are seeking various documents and records related to the Washington Bridge, particularly those concerning contractor invoices, progress payments for work on the bridge, documents detailing or illustrating work performed on the bridge, and records associated with bridge inspections, including reports, notes, and photographs.

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee’s office has confirmed their awareness of the upcoming document request and has expressed a willingness to fully cooperate with the investigation. Governor McKee had previously initiated an independent, third-party expert review of the matter.

The closure of the westbound span of the Washington Bridge has resulted in significant traffic disruptions, prompting concerns from residents and lawmakers alike. The Department of Transportation is awaiting an engineering report, expected by the end of February or early March, to determine the necessary repairs for the bridge. The investigation introduces an additional layer of complexity to the situation, and the state is preparing for potential delays and increased scrutiny related to the bridge closure.

The investigation’s focus encompasses examining allegations of false claims linked to the construction, inspection, and repair of the Washington Bridge. As the situation develops, the state government is also advocating for flexibility, including teleworking options for affected employees, to alleviate workplace disruptions stemming from the ongoing bridge issues.

The governor’s office maintains that the review was anticipated, and they welcome the federal agencies’ thorough examination. The outcome of the investigation holds potential implications for accountability and may involve financial consequences related to the bridge closure and subsequent repair efforts.

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