U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin Scovel III issued a letter of commendation to Steve T. Mackey, a former bridge manager for Metro’s Silver Line extension to Dulles Airport. According to a story in today’s Washington Post, Dulles Transit Partners overruled Mackey’s concerns and decided to use 11 foundations abandoned in the 1970’s without testing them to determine if they could bear the weight of the planned rail bridge over Interstate 66. Mackey reported his concerns to Scovel’s office which led to federal safety intervention to obtain the testing Mackey recommended. Mackey has since left the Dulles Transit Partners and works for an area engineering firm. Scovel’s letter states, “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. Your actions exemplify this ethic and are a credit to you and your profession.” If the Silver Line bridge had been built without testing, a latent defect could have led to catastrophic failure at a time when the bridge was under increased load — such a a crowded train during rush hour traffic. We add our thanks to Steve Mackey.