Saturday 18th of January 2020 09:27:04 AM GMT

Las Vegas Stadium Update: Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers Send Bad Bolt, Compression Ring Photos

Las Vegas Allegiant Stadium On Rainy Dec 4th 2019 DayLas Vegas Allegiant Stadium On Rainy Dec 4th 2019 Day

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(Last Updated On: December 26, 2019)

The set of people we call the “Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers” and who worked on and are still working on the Oakland Raiders new Las Vegas Stadium home called Allegiant Stadium have sent a set of photos to Zennie62Media’s Zennie Abraham, to drive home the point that a problem exists with construction oversight.  If you’ve seen the first post and just want to get to the pictures, click photos, otherwise, read on.

Their concern is that Las Vegas Stadium construction be done with respect to quality and not speed. Right now, and it appears that by design, the facility has been on a problem-filled fast-track to a completion that could be dangerous by a few scenarios. Let’s recap how we got here.

Whistleblower Las Vegas Stadium Workers Tell Zennie62Media About Bad Bolts And Bad Welds Problem

That was the headline from the Oakland News Now post dated December 2, 2019. The initial paragraph set was this:

“Inside sources, workers on the Allegient Stadium project, contacted me, Zennie Abraham of Zennie62Media, to explain the real story of and confirming rumors about “bad bolts” being used in the construction of the Las Vegas Stadium roof structure. The truth is far more alarming than the rumors. The basic concern is that the Las Vegas Stadium roof structure bolts may be of substandard manufacture. Not changing the bolts could cause part of the roof to collapse, injuring thousands of people if it happens during an event and if either sound vibration or temperature-induced steel frame contractions occur – and both are normal occurrences in the life of an NFL stadium.”

It came from a series of out-of-the-blue emails that were sent to this blogger. After confirming that the people behind the emails were who they claimed to be, Las Vegas Stadium workers, a series of emails, phone conversations, and text messages have taken place, and continue to this day.

The Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower concern centers around what are called “compression ring bolts” and also welds that make what are called “the nodes” that connect cables to the compression ring, and also form what is called the “cable net”.

To repeat the Oakland News Now entry from December 2nd:

“Reportedly from my insider sources, an employee of the company that was hired as a subcontractor to the builder Mortenson McCarthy, and called Freyssinet, refused to test the bolts that were installed and make up the “compression ring” connections that makes up the outer rim of the stadium at its highest point. “So, there is employed as ironworkers a group that works for Derr & Isbell, the main on site erector of the structural steel. Because Derr & Isbell, at a certain point when they started the cables, started downsizing the workforce,” according to one of my worker sources.

And this:

“Another source said this: “Some of those workers jumped to Freyssinet and that’s when they brought to our attention that bolts had been breaking. And bolts had been breaking at other spots on the stadium project.” Freyssinet was not required to re-test the bolts, so my sources don’t want to blame them, but they assert that due to the fear of pissing off Mortenson McCarthy and delaying the job, Freyssinet representatives reportedly said “We’re not going to worry about it.” That said, another source said that Mortenson McCarthy did know: “Believe me, it got to them.””

And another email reported that:

“As far as the bolt issue, i over saw a detail crew of ironworkers responsible for the install and torque of structural bolts. During the torque process bolts were breaking in half. We were told to replace them and hide the bad bolts.
Anonymous”

Continuing The Repeat Of The Basic Information From The Initial Oakland News Now Post Before Photos Are Presented

Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers explained that the bolts that are used to tie the compression ring are substandard and the reason is that Freyssinet (where Freyssinet Canada was the subcontractor responsible for the Las Vegas Stadium roof construction) is responding to pressure by the main contractor Mortenson McCarthy to build Las Vegas Stadium fast, and under a tight time frame. Indeed, an online document by another Las Vegas Stadium subcontractor, Arup, reflects and confirms that claim.

In its update” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>its update, the Arup firm explains…

“A hallmark project for the state of Nevada and the Raiders, Allegiant Stadium will feature 65,000 seats, a movable field, a retractable north façade wall and a translucent cable-truss supported roof. Sharing the project team’s common objective of expediting the construction timeline, Arup conceptualized and implemented flexible design features, such as the adjustable structural connection at the cable-truss to compression ring interface, to align with the construction schedule. The Design-Build team embraced a collaborative review approach with the Clark County Department of Building and Fire Prevention to achieve the project’s phased permit goals in alignment with fast-track construction goals. One of the major innovative elements that Arup incorporated into the project is the intricately designed cable truss roof. A departure from the classical structural engineering solution, the lightweight cable-truss connection to the structural steel provides a significantly increased construction tolerance during the big-lift of the cables requiring high-geometric precision.”

Workers passed around a message that goes something like this: “I have a feeling all the boomers will be getting laid off. They reported to the Stadium Authority Board that everything in the critical path is on schedule and proceeding as planned. That was in the RJ (Review Journal) Wednesday. Then, yesterday morning, on the Channel 3 News, they ran a story saying the roof was going to be completed in April. If that’s the case, we could be looking at a delay of possibly to the end of January that would put us 12 weeks to the end of April.” Reportedly, Mortenson McCarthy has “gone silent” on talk of proceeding with the work. The firm is said to possible be “going through all compression ring connections and replacing and retorqueing at this point. That is the only way they can be sure that all bolts are torqued correctly.”

The ironworkers don’t know if it was the manufacturer at this point, but bolts were snapping around the stadium prior to the ring bolt problem of now, over the summer. One of my sources said “Guys from Derr & Isbell were bringing it up, and were upset about it.” “Let’s not have another New Orleans Hotel collapse,” said another one of my sources.

Taking Las Vegas Stadium Construction Processes Out Of Sequence To Meet A Deadline Caused Problems

And regarding the plan of taking stadium construction process activities out of sequence in an effort to meet the opening date deadline, another source said this to me: “Everything was supposed to be done 100 percent before cables were pulled. Everything was to be done and signed off on – the main structure, steel, nodes – all 100 percent done before they started putting weight on the cables. (Instead) They were still inspecting nodes and pulling on cables – if one wasn’t ready, they’d go on to the next node.” (And this update from the sources: what should have been done before the cable net lifting and attaching process was 1, complete erection of main structural members and tie-in members, 2, all bolts needed to be installed and inspected, 3, all main structural members should be complete and that includes everything attached to the compression ring.)

In other words, the idea of taking Las Vegas stadium construction process activities out of sequence in an effort to meet the opening date deadline might have sounded like a good idea to the lay person and the Oakland Raiders fan, but it’s a bad idea if one’s trying to build a stadium correctly. In this case, you run the risk of putting weight on stadium roof cables that may not be fully ready to handle it.

If you go back to past videos of the inside of the Oakland Raiders Las Vegas stadium and the cable roof on the floor, you may remember times when it looked like the cable net was being raised in an uneven fashion. Well, to repeat the first post and set up the photo presentation, I learned from my sources that practice was a no-no, but it was done anyway, and all in an effort to hurry up and finish the Allegiant Stadium project.

Oakland Raiders Don Webb Responds To Oakland News Now Blog Post Via The Review Journal, Confirms Worker Claims

In this update, Oakland Raiders Chief Operating Officer Don Webb responded to this blog post via the Las Vegas Review Journal. However, whistleblower workers claim Webb confirmed their concerns that “They were still inspecting nodes and pulling on cables – if one wasn’t ready, they’d go on to the next node” and thus causing more stress on the cables!

This is what Webb and the Las Vegas Review Journal (the “stadium good news” issuer on behalf of the Oakland Raiders) reportedly said:

Grand Canyon Development Partners, a project monitor hired by the authority to oversee work by the contractor on its behalf, briefed the board on the interruption of the cable lift and the rescheduling of work as a result of “overstressing of the structural members.” Grand Canyon concluded that the delay and resequencing of work “should not negatively affect the overall completion schedule.”

Well, as it happens the “overstressing of the structural members” occurred because, as the workers reported “They were still inspecting nodes and pulling on cables – if one wasn’t ready, they’d go on to the next node” and thus causing more stress on the cables.
Don Webb and the Las Vegas Review Journal just admitted there was a problem. The night-time cable-pulling came out of an overall desire to meet a hugely aggressive stadium completion deadline. That has caused the stadium construction managers to take a number of risks that workers and this blogger have questioned.

Here Are The Las Vegas Stadium Construction Photos Presenting The Bad Bolts, Compression Ring Problem

A worker-provided example of a Las Vegas Stadium bad bolt

A worker-provided example of a Las Vegas Stadium bad bolt

The picture at left is of the connection that Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers claimed failed. “This connection failed from a force other than bad bolts or overtightening. The nuts sheered off the bolts.” That’s in response to Oakland Raiders Chief Operating Officer Don Webb’s explanation that bolts were “tightened too much”. When that news report was issued with Webb’s quote, a worker gave a “histerically laughing emoji” response in an email to this blogger.

Las Vegas Stadium Compression Ring Segment Photo

Las Vegas Stadium Compression Ring Segment Photo

Las Vegas Stadium Worker explanation: The photo to the right above is from the upper compression ring: when the bolts snapped, it displaced the shim between several connections on the upper compression ring. When this happens it could cause the fractures the men were talking about.

 

Las Vegas Stadium Construction Photo

Photo from Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Worker on bad weld

Wb Las Vegas Stadium Workers Bad Weld Photo

Wb Las Vegas Stadium Workers Bad Weld Photo

The Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers say that these  photos looks like bad welds or missed welds.

The Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers Believe A Problem Exists Or Existed With Bad Bolts And Bad Welds

This all started with a completely out-of-the-blue set of emails by Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers claiming that the cable net roof structure was damaged before it was uploaded and due to 1) bad bolts and bad welds and 2) overstressing cables and nodes in an effort to lift portions of the cable-net system out of the original construction sequence in an effort to build Las Vegas Stadium on a fast-track – but before the main structure that supports it was fully built.

If the problems identified by the Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers are not completely solved, the end result would be a building completed in a substandard way, and to meet one objective: the completion of a fast-track schedule. That would produce a potentially dangerous scenario where bolts popping out of place could lead to a structural accident that harms thousands of people. That could occur via vibration or even a small earthquake.

For its part, the Oakland Raiders via Don Webb assure everyone that the problems were already mitigated, and he’s also quick to add that the “stadium is on schedule”. That said, Webb unknowingly revealed one major unsolved issue to the public: that the cable-nets being pulled up toward the roof and out of sequence to the original construction plan caused the overstressing problem.

No China Bolts Problem Reported Here By Las Vegas Stadium Workers

The rumor about faulty bolts from China came from some other publication and not the Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers reporting to Oakland News Now. That said, the possibility was discussed, but overall not a point of emphasis by the workers. The Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers established the rule that if they didn’t have a photo to prove it, or point to it, then it wasn’t worth spending a lot of time on.

Las Vegas Stadium Interior On Dec 4 2019

Las Vegas Stadium Interior On Dec 4 2019 (Photo courtesy EarthCam)

In closing, the Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers aren’t anti-anything – indeed, that’s completely stupid. These are hard working people who are very proud of their work. They own the jobs they do. The Oakland Raiders, The Las Vegas Stadium Authority, Clark County, The City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Valley, as well as the State of Nevada and the Las Vegas Stadium Sponsors and The National Football League should be happy and consider themselves blessed by God that these good folks stepped forward.

And It Rained On Las Vegas Stadium, Again

And once again, it rained on Las Vegas Stadium. Clark County was the focus of rains so intense that a flood warning was issued, and photos from that December 4th day reveal that, once again, Las Vegas Stadium was waterlogged – and to a degree much greater than the rains of four weeks ago. The rains produce delays that, considering the other problems, are such that no one would mind if there was a delay.

The Las Vegas Stadium Whistleblower Workers say one thing: “Built it right; don’t rush it.”

Stay tuned.

About the Author

Zennie Abraham
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media
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