Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Federal Highway Administration" ...

  • Frankenstein Guardrails

    The FOX31 Denver’s investigative unit discovered Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews assembling guardrail systems with mix-and-match parts from competing manufacturers. By “Frankensteining” already questionable end-cap terminals, with incompatible rails, the state had been creating serious road safety hazards for years. Within a week of the revelation, the Federal Highway Administration ordered a nationwide warning and Colorado began inspecting every guardrail system in the state (42,000 end-cap terminals/21,000 guardrail systems), repairing hundreds of dangerous installation errors.
  • Deadly Impact

    This in-depth, nine month investigation by Chief Correspondent Brian Ross and Producer Cindy Galli was the first to disclose previously-secret company emails and documents, all pointing to an internal cover-up by guardrail manufacturer Trinity Industries. The company had modified a popular highway product without disclosing the changes to the government, as is required by law. That design change has now been blamed for injuries and deaths around the country. It also called into question the lack of oversight by the Federal Highway Administration. The first reports had an immediate impact as over a dozen states suspended purchases of the questionable guardrail end terminals in the days following the report. When we first reported our story, the Federal Highway Safety Administration said it considered the guardrail end terminals to be safe. Since our broadcast, more than 40 states have suspended the use of the devices and under growing pressure from congressional and state officials, the Federal Highway Administration has now ordered the company to conduct new safety tests which are currently ongoing .
  • Failing Heads

    An investigative series by online and local television affiliates into mounting complaints and evidence that a highway safety device produced by a Dallas-based company and sold in all 50 states and 60 countries was failing with catastrophic results, causing severe injuries, amputations and deaths on the highway that were otherwise avoidable. The investigation uncovered that not only did Trinity Industries, know from state officials, industry whistleblowers, and engineers that the device was prone to failing, they conspired with regulatory officials at the Federal Highway Administration to cover it up.
  • Land Condemnation: Who Pays the Price?

    The investigation focuses on Kentucky's system of acquiring land for highway construction which wastes millions of dollars in public funds, is often performed by biased and unqualified surveyors, and efforts which have failed to change the system over the last three decades.
  • A Bridge Too Old

    This story shows that in spite of more than $300 million in repairs, the Tappan Zee bridge has worse safety ratings than it did ten years ago. The reporters used a computer analysis of government records for their story.
  • County's Aging Bridges at the Breaking Point

    One third of Ventura county's bridges were built before 1965 and 28 of them have been designated as "structurally deficient." But the county is still waiting for the funds to fix or replace them. California's winter floods in 2005 washed away one bridge and left others even more weakened. Dodge examines the Federal Highway Administration's Inventory and discusses funding problems as well as the potentially fatal consequences of continuing neglect.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Grimm Get a Load of Shrimp Cross Country, Fast

    The Journal tells the story of truckers Rod and Kim Grimm, a married couple who make rushed deliveries across the country by taking turns behind the wheel. And they are not alone, as more and more companies choose to hire team truckers to reduce shipping time. "A recent Federal Highway Administration study found drivers sleeping five hours a day on average, and at risk of nodding off at the wheel. Team truckers have particularly hard time of it .... The highway administration is considering new rules that would require drivers to work more regular shifts."
  • US audit: Big Dig is 'bankrupt'

    Big Dig managers have systematically covered up hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns for years through shell-game accounting that made public estimates for the road-and-tunnel work little more than a mirage. While state officials insisted the project was on time, on budget, and tightly managed, a two-month Boston Globe investigation found little of that was true.
  • More than a quarter of U.S. bridges deemed inadequate, records show

    "More than a quarter of the nation's bridges are too weak, dilapidated or overburdened for their current traffic, according to federal records." The Kansas City Star investigated Missouri and Kansas bridges, and found that "as of last year, nearly four out of 10 Missouri bridges were 'deficient.' In Kansas, nearly 26 percent of bridges rated as either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete." However, "relief is coming. The Missouri General Assembly has approved selling up to $2.25 billion in bonds over several years to accelerate road and bridge projects already in the works. . . And in Kansas, the Legislature passed a 10-year, $13 billion transportation program in 1999. About $356 million of the money is earmarked for bridge work."
  • Troubled Bridges

    KOMU's "computer-assisted investigation revealed that mid-Missouri's bridges are deteriorating and placing drivers into possibly dangerous situations every day... bridges dropping large pieces of concrete into traffic lanes on Interstate 70 ... the state had no plans to fix this problem anytime within the next five years... one in three bridges in mid-Missouri is structurally deficient.... it would take 49 years to fix the problems that current bridges have with current funding even though transportation officials say that an average bridge has a lifespan of 50 years...."