4 men get probation for roles in supplying substandard concrete to Boston's Big Dig project

BOSTON (AP) — Four former employees of a company convicted of supplying substandard concrete to Boston's troubled Big Dig highway project have avoided prison time for their roles in the scheme.

A federal judge Thursday sentenced Lynn, Mass., resident Mark Blais and Canterbury, Conn., resident John Farrar to probation, home confinement and community service. The judge Wednesday sentenced two other employees to probation and home confinement.

Federal prosecutors had requested prison time. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says the government is "disappointed" by the sentences.

The Big Dig replaced an elevated highway with a series of tunnels, ramps and bridges. It was plagued by cost overruns, falling debris, leaks and other problems.

Aggregate Industries Northeast Region says only a tiny percentage of the concrete it provided was ruled noncompliant with specifications.