A new audit commissioned by the Massachusetts Turnpike
Authority has found that repairing leaks in the Big Dig over the next five
years will cost an estimated $38.9 million.
The current repair program will seal about 3,600 leaks this
year, according to The Boston Globe. But the report said that 42 percent
of those leaks were expected to reopen, requiring a second round of repairs.
The Turnpike Authority estimates it will have to repair
about 1,500 leaks in 2006; 661 in 2007; 284 in 2008; 121 in 2009 and 77 in
The audit, which was conducted by research firm Deloitte & Touche, was commissioned after the U.S. Department of Transportation
threatened to withhold federal funding for the Big Dig until the department was
assured that the leaks would be fixed.
Turnpike Authority spokeswoman Mariellen Burns told the Portsmouth
Herald that more than $32 million of the money needed to repair the leaks
could be collected from contractors who either did not perform work adequately
or did not uphold their contracts.
Though substantial work on the $14.6 billion project was to
have been completed by September, Turnpike Authority officials are now saying
that significant work will continue into January.