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Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager
Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, Deputy Asst. Sec. of Def. for Public Affairs
Terry Mitchell, chief, Audiovisual Division, Office of ASD PA
The Pentagon
Arlington, Virginia
September 15, 2001
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QUESTION: Well, that's wedge one, though, right?

EVEY: This is wedge one. That's correct. This is renovated area.

QUESTION: (Off mike.)

EVEY: That's correct. The portion that collapsed was in a renovated area where it went into wedge one. However, what's holding this whole structure together here are these steel beams. Now, the steel beams were placed -- again, they're about six inches by six inches, and they're part of a blast-resistant scheme that we put into the building. That consisted of three components. First, there were the steel beams themselves. The steel beams start on the first floor, go through the fifth floor. They're bolted together floor to floor, so they're one contiguous unit.

Then we have blast-resistant windows. The weight of the windows and the steel framework which supports the windows is a little bit over a ton. It's about 2,500 pounds.

QUESTION: (Off mike.)

EVEY: Yes, ma'am. The glass is almost two inches thick. And we developed these windows and the system, the steel framework to go around it, in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers. We did work with the Army Corps of Engineers, using the blast analysis group that they have, to determine what types of overpressures this building might be subjected to, and then try to develop a blast-resistant system to defeat that.

What's interesting about this is, first, you still see the steel connected together and intact. And despite the obvious huge pressures to which this glass was exposed, the glass is still intact. Even though the building eventually collapsed, the pieces of glass are still, for the most part, in a single piece. They just kind of popped as the building came down.

These white panels that you see here, okay, that's a Kevlar cloth, the same stuff we make bullet-proof vests out of. We interspersed the Kevlar in between the steel beams in the windows to catch any fragmentation that would result from a blast event.

Now, this was a terrible tragedy and people lost their lives. But I'm here to tell you that had we not undertaken this effort in the building, this could have been much, much worse. I'll give you a couple of anecdotes to explain that. At the point in time that this area was impacted by the aircraft, there were two of my people on the E ring -- that's the outermost ring -- on the fifth floor, and they were about 50, to 75 feet down the corridor from where the airplane impacted.

QUESTION: (Off mike.)

EVEY: They were on the wedge-one side, so they were on the south side. Fortunately, they were on the wedge-one side. Being 50 or 75 feet away, they heard a tremendous noise and they were shaken a bit. They don't have a scratch on them. Immediately the area filled with black smoke. And these two individuals were on the fifth floor on their hands and knees, but they crawled through every office on the fifth floor making sure that anybody that was alive got out.

They then crawled the same thing on the fourth floor, directly above where the aircraft impacted; the third floor; they crawled the second floor, to every single office, to make sure that if anyone was there who survived, that they got out. They couldn't get into the first floor, so they crawled out the building at that point. This structure held. It did not collapse for about 30 or 35 minutes. It gave them the time to do that and it gave people in the building time to escape the area. Even if they were injured, they had an opportunity to get out.

In addition, clearly, from the evidence that we see in this area, we believe that the effect of this structure was to dramatically slow the plane as it entered the building and reduce the extent to which it penetrated the building.

QUESTION: (Off mike.)

EVEY: Yes, sir. There were, I'm sure, a lot of heroes that day, and I've heard a lot of anecdotal stories about that. Those just happened to be two of my people.

QUESTION: Did those two find anybody to help out?

EVEY: Yes, sir, they did find some people; okay, that's correct.

QUESTION: When you say it slowed, my questions was the exterior of the building is still the same stone as what was from 50 years ago, or did that change in the renovation at all.

EVEY: No, ma'am.

QUESTION: And did that help?

EVEY: The exterior of the building is limestone, okay. And we did not in any structural way change the limestone, okay. We did some cosmetic improvement to that limestone, repointing the joints in between, et cetera, but that did not have any significant effect on the strength of the limestone. The limestone is just hung on the building with some steel hangers.

QUESTION: So you couldn't change the exterior right, because it's a historic preservation?

EVEY: Yes, ma'am, it's a historic building. That's correct. There are certain things we cannot change, and that's one of the things we cannot.

QUESTION: What you're talking about is you changed the structure inside.

EVEY: That's right. This is a picture of it. This is what it looks like inside the building. The outside hasn't changed at all, but inside, these are the blast-resistant windows. This is the steel superstructure that goes around it. And then this light stuff in between is the Kevlar cloth. And again --

QUESTION: Is this exterior wall?

EVEY: This is an exterior wall. As we said, the picture up here is an exterior wall on the E Ring looking out of the building, okay. And you see here the very large bolts that then extend through the floor and into the top of a similar frame of the floor underneath. That's how they are bolted together.

QUESTION: I'm sorry, is the steel frame only on the E Ring, or does it extend into the --

EVEY: No, the steel frame is only on the E Ring, and that's the result of blast analysis that we did with respect to the way each of the walls were build and what the expectations are with respect to a response to blast effects that each one of those walls might --

QUESTION: Can you define for us what sort of situations you had simulated, how much of a blast --

EVEY: What --

QUESTION: A Khobar Towers-type of blast or --

EVEY: What we've simulated --

QUIGLEY: I don't think I'd like to give a clear answer to that question.

QUESTION: I think you're absolutely right. (Laughter.)

EVEY: All I was going to say was we simulated what we thought we might experience.

Here's a couple of other pictures. This really kind of captures, I think, some of the benefits that you can see here. Here of course is the area where the plane impacted. These are Wedge 1 windows. The dividing line between Wedge 1 and Wedge 2 is about here. So this is still Wedge 1, renovated area. And you can see right next to where the plane went in, the blast-resistant windows blew out. One floor away is still intact, okay. So we lost some windows here right where the plane impacted, but a very short distance away, the windows are still intact.

I've gone into the building up on the fifth floor on the other side over here, not on this side. On the fourth floor, about maybe 40 feet away from where the plane entered the building, we have built a very large display case. The glass isn't even cracked in the display case. I mean, the building withstood a tremendous amount of punishment because of the very resilient design that went into this.

Now here we have pictures of windows in Wedge 2, and if this picture here extended, these windows would be like over here somewhere, a long, long distance from where the plane entered the building. And yet in Wedge 2, where you don't have the blast resistance, they're all blown out and have suffered considerable damage.

QUESTION: Mr. Evey, I'm on deadline. One quick question. Is the building stable enough now to try and raise the roof and get inside?

EVEY: They're undertaking those activities probably today. They're trying to get heavy equipment in to move a lot of the heaviest debris away, sir. And I expect that to start at any time. We've got heavy cranes out there. The difficulty with moving them in there right away is underneath the area adjacent to the building, there are a series of tunnels used for those utility purposes, and we can't run those heavy cranes over those areas. It would collapse. So we have to clear areas and move them around through there -- (inaudible.) Thank you.

Okay, this is the damage pattern that we see to the columns inside the building, and you can almost trace the path of the aircraft. This is why we believe it came in at an angle. The key here is, the red dots are where the columns are missing or cut completely. So they're providing as a concrete-and-rebar column virtually no support whatsoever to the building above.

(Brief audio break.) You saw the internal core in that one picture (). The way the columns were constructed for the Pentagon back in the '40s when they built the building here is a central core that's composed of low-grade steel rebar with concrete in it, and then outside of that is several inches of additional concrete with little or no steel in them whatsoever. If a column is stripped, that outer coating of concrete has been blown away, it has been bowed, that means that in some way, that central core is dramatically damaged in some way. It has been bent or moved or shifted in some way. So you can expect that those columns have probably lost a considerable amount of their ability to carry weight. You see the pattern of the red and blue, and you can kind of see the path of the aircraft there.

The next is what we call Strip K, which is where the central core of that column has remained. And it has the vast majority of its ability and the strength to carry the weight. So it's lost the outer concrete, but it's still got the central core intact.

And finally, the yellow is where there is some damage but it's minor damage, and not tremendously significant.

QUESTION: Sir, do you have the dimensions for the area of that spot?

EVEY: I don't happen to have that, but I can make that information available to you. It will have to be an estimate. I haven't had anybody in there with a tape measure to measure it. But we could give you that estimate. I just happen to know.

QUESTION: What's the estimate?

EVEY: I don't have an estimate. I will give you one, but I'd have to go back and get it from somebody.

QUESTION: Do you have any idea how fast the plane was moving?

EVEY: No, ma'am, I don't.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

EVEY: Sure don't. But what's very interesting to us here -- remember that line of red dots that I showed you where the columns are missing, okay, that's this portion of the building right here. And what's holding up this whole portion of the building still from when the initial blast occurred or the incident occurred was those steel columns that we put in, okay. Had it not been for that, you would have had a much larger collapse and perhaps many more casualties.

QUESTION: So that's the renovated part.

EVEY: This is again a renovated section. That's correct, ma'am. It's renovated back to about here, and then Wedge 2 starts.

These are temporary columns. This is part of the work that we're doing in support of the recovery activities. What my organization is doing at this point in time, we're providing all the heavy equipment. We're providing the cranes. We're providing the backhoes. We're providing the front-end loaders, the dump trucks. The dumpsters in which to place evidence to be maintained for future analysis. We've built the roads out there. We provide the laborers who support in any way necessary. We provide structural engineers. We provide people who are trained and experts in recovery in these types of environments, et cetera. And they're working very, very closely with the firemen. Typically what happens is a team of my folks will go in, always accompanied by a fireman, when some structural activity need to take place. And then they work under the guidance of the firemen.

The next shows you where -- excuse me, the next shows where we are rebuilding columns using pressure-treated lumber to try to provide support for the building and make sure it doesn't collapse.

Okay, now -- now you've probably learned more than you ever wanted to know about wedges and all of that, but -- so go back a bit here. This is Wedge 1, and this is Wedge 2. This is the approach that we at this point in time intend to take in trying to put this building back together. And I have to caution that I'm telling you what we see right now and the way we would intend to do this in a notional sense right now. Clearly, this is subject to change as we become more knowledgeable and more aware of conditions.

If you were to basically split each wedge in half, sort of run a line from the inner apex to the outer apex in each wedge -- so that's Wedge 1 and the Wedge 2 -- outside of that imaginary line, the damage to the building is minimal. So in Wedge 1 to this side, there's minimal damage. From Wedge 2 to this side, there's minimal damage. And what we intend to do roughly --

QUESTION: What do you mean by minimal damage?

EVEY: Okay, things like water and smoke damage.

QUESTION: You're not talking about -- (inaudible) -- damage, the structure of the building.

EVEY: Structural. Now what we would intend to do is we would intend to build a construction barrier wall through those areas, mainly because we believe we can probably bring these areas of the building back up and operational relatively quickly.

On the other side of that construction wall, however, there's going to be a lot of noisy activity going on in the future, and we want to put a sturdy wall in there that will protect the inhabitants moving into these areas from the noise, construction, dust, debris, et cetera.

Yes, ma'am.

QUESTION: That's Corridor 4 down there, and that is a corridor -- at the top there where the next line up --

EVEY: This would be 5.

QUESTION: Five.

EVEY: This is 6.

QUESTION: So, it's -- I'm sorry, so it's between Corridor --

EVEY: No, the wedge line is between Corridor 4 and Corridor 5, okay. That's the line of demarcation between the first wedge and the second wedge.

QUESTION: So you will have to go across corridors a little bit then.

EVEY: Yes. What we intend to do, since it goes across both wedges, I had kind of a decision to make very quickly. Do I take the Wedge 1 contractor, who I already had in place, and who knew more about this building than anybody else out there right now, and kind of expand their work effort to -- expand Wedge 1 if you will? Or do I take the Wedge 2 contractors, who were just brought on board through a very extensive competition, and who is an extremely capable contractor, and do I kind of extend Wedge 2 and reduce Wedge 1? And what we decided to do is to build those barriers -- on this side, we're going to build these barriers. Then we're going to go in here and we're going to rebuild the basic structure of the building, the concrete columns and the concrete floors, okay. Having done that, we've reestablished the physical structure of the building and the wedge line. And then I'm going to have the Wedge 1 contractor rebuild Wedge 1, and I'll start the Wedge 2 contractor building Wedge 2, renovating Wedge 2.

QUESTION: I'm sorry, but just one more time, that corridor up there is 5 or 3?

EVEY: Yes. This is quarter 3 here. That's where one of those south tiers bridges comes in, the one that's not yet open. Okay? This is quarter 4. This is quarter 5.

QUESTION: Why were you changing contractors, sir? Were you unhappy with the work that was being performed by the first contractor?

EVEY: We wanted to go about doing our work in a fundamentally different way -- okay -- than the traditional -- this wedge one was one in a traditional construction manner, okay? I'll describe it to you very briefly, okay? Traditionally what happens is you go out and you hire an architect engineer who does designs and drawings and specifications for you -- and a complete set of drawings. That set of drawings for wedge one was 3,500 pages. So it's very, very elaborate.

After you have those drawings and specifications done, then you put that package out on the street for a bid, and you get a construction contractor to build to what the drawings say. What we had wanted to do from wedges two through five is we wanted to what's called a design-build, and that is we hire the architect engineer and the construction contractor as one package, and we do a competition with those groups, having them form joint ventures or other relationships as architect engineer constructors, and compete them once against another in that mode, so that we have the architect, the engineers and the construction contractor as a team working for us. Then we dramatically reduce the numbers of specifications and drawings that we provided, instead asking them to provide us a certain output product, what we call a performance specification.

To contrast that, it took us 3,500 pages of drawings and specs for wedge one. For wedges two through five the full spec package was 16 pages -- dramatically different way of doing business. We have done it several times already in the Pentagon renovation -- it saved the taxpayers a lot of money. It saved us a lot of time. That's why we wanted to do it on wedge two through five.

So what we have done contractually, we have given verbal direction to the wedge one contractor, and they're involved in supporting the search and recovery effort right now -- they are on site already.

Secondly, we are initiating contracts to get specialists in reclamation and rebuilding, bring them onto the site to help us understand how best to go about doing this.

Thirdly, we awarded the wedge two contract, as our intent to bring that contractor on board as quickly as possible, and have them start doing what it was we originally envisioned for them to do, and that is start with the renovation of wedge two. Now, that renovation has changed somewhat in character, but basically that's still what we want them to do.

The nature of the competition that we conducted -- and it took us over a year to do it -- was to seek contractors who are flexible, have a proven past performance of being able to deal with very difficult, complex situations, and who we thought could work with us effectively in resolving issues and problems that are inherent doing a job of this amount of complexity. Those are exactly the same characteristics we want now, even though the nature of the job and the character of it has changed somewhat.

QUESTION: Are you still taking everyone out of the entire wedge two, and you are going to -- you know that wall will be built in there -- you are going to treat wedge two as wedge two, as you planned to before?

EVEY: No, what we -- you are now asking some questions that are of the next stage, and we have not yet addressed fully how we are going to do all that. Okay? I will say this: We have made arrangements for swing space in its temporary locations in other places, that can more than accommodate that. We have not yet had an opportunity to think through all of that.

QUESTION: So people could stay in that portion of wedge two for a while longer?

EVEY: That's correct, that's correct. This is in our initial thinking. Let me stress again this is our initial thinking. We are going to try to do this job the best way we know how, as efficiently, as effectively as possible, and use as few as the taxpayer dollars as possible, and do it right.

So, wedge two through five contract, the initial award value, we put $145 million on the contract. That was the monies that were available to us in this fiscal year. Potential total value -- and I need to talk about that a bit -- $758 million. However, the way that contract was awarded was that they did not try to estimate what inflation might be. Right now we are anticipating that this project, wedges two through five, will be completed in the year 2012. And rather than have a contractor try to guess what inflation might be over that whole period of time, instead what we did was we wrote a contract that has us track constantly the cost of personnel, materials and equipment. And then before we exercise the option for each successive wedge we inflate the cost that was proposed for that wedge by whatever your experience has been in the marketplace.

QUESTION: So is $758 million in this year dollars?

EVEY: That's correct, that's in this year dollars that would be inflated as we went from wedge to wedge. So it does not count inflation costs through the year 2012.

QUESTION: And that's if the contractor gets all the rest of the wedges?

EVEY: If the contractor gets all of the options for the remaining wedges, that's correct, sir.

QUESTION: So the award value then of $145 million is for wedge two?

EVEY: That's to get the work started in wedge two. But that was not the full price of wedge two. That was the monies we had available in this fiscal year, yes, sir.

Now, if you look at wedges two through five, that entire contract would be for over four million square feet in the building. Again, it's what we call a design-build, and the contractor that will be doing that work is a company called Hensel Phelps.

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