Another tunnel in Boston’s ill-fated Big Dig was shut down during the
weekend as investigators continued to look into the cause of a July 10 collapse
that left one woman dead.
The Associated Press reported on Monday, July 17, that a mile-long ramp that connects Interstate 90
west with Interstate 93 north and south was shut down after tests on the bolts
used to secure concrete panels to the ceiling showed numerous potential
problems. Crews are working on securing the panels and it is unknown when the
tunnel will reopen.
Also on Monday, the entrance to the Ted Williams Tunnel on Interstate
90 near Logan Airport remained closed one week after several three-ton sections
of concrete fell from the ceiling, crushing a car and killing a woman inside.
The AP reported
that the investigation is focusing on bolts and epoxy used to hold the concrete
ceiling slabs in place. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – who seized control of
the investigation from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority on Friday, July 14
– said that many of the bolts where epoxy was used will have to be replaced or
Romney outlined three potential plans for the repairs, including an
anchor bolt system, a steel-on-steel connection and a cable system, according
to The AP.
In addition, Romney said there were three jet fans in the tunnel where
the collapse happened that showed signs of movement and were going to have to
be “shored up.”
The $14 billion Big Dig project – which buried portions of Interstates
93 and 90 beneath downtown Boston and extended the Massachusetts Turnpike to Logan Airport – has been plagued with problems through much of its 15 years, including
leaks, faulty concrete, missed deadlines and political scandals among those involved
in its management.