More weak bolts found in Big Dig investigation

| Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Monday, July 17, that investigators have found a total of 1,454 potentially problematic bolt fixtures in the section of the Big Dig tunnel that collapsed last week, crushing a car and killing a female passenger.

The section of Interstate 90 in question, which connects Interstate 93 to the Ted Williams Tunnel, remained closed indefinitely Tuesday, July 18, though the portion of the tunnel leading to Logan Airport was still open.

A second part of the tunnel, a mile-long ramp that connects Interstate 90 west with Interstate 93 north and south was shut down Monday after tests on the bolts used to secure concrete panels to the ceiling showed numerous potential problems including problems with the epoxy used to hold the bolts in place, according to The Associated Press.

The Boston Globe reported that Romney said redundant retainer systems would be put in place in any section of the tunnel that uses the bolt and epoxy combination.

The investigation into the bolts stemmed from a fatal July 10 accident in which several three-ton slabs of concrete came loose from the ceiling and crushed a passing car.

The tunnel closures have brought more traffic to the surface on Boston’s streets. The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority has posted information on alternate routes and closures on the Big Dig Web site at http://www.masspike.com/bigdig.

Comments