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Big Dig Contractor To Help T With Locomotives

A former Big Dig manager will help the MBTA with the purchase of 20 new commuter rail locomotives.

Parsons Brinckerhoff partnered with Bechtel on the Big Dig, the nation's costliest public works project. In 2008, Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff agreed to pay more than $400 million to settle a lawsuit the state filed over a fatal tunnel ceiling collapse and to cover costs of leaks and design flaws.

The MBTA board Wednesday hired Parsons Brinckerhoff to be a subcontractor on an $8.7 million consulting contract. Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan said mistakes were made on the Big Dig, but the firm has a long track record of achievement.

Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday cautiously defended the decision, saying he defers to the judgment of the MBTA board.

"When the attorney general made the settlement, she left open the possibility they could compete for other work, and they have competed for other work, and they will be closely supervised," the governor said.

With reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press.

This program aired on March 3, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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