As investigations and repairs at Boston’s Big Dig continued following a
July 10 ceiling collapse that left one woman dead, Gov. Mitt Romney stepped up
his efforts to remove the director of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday, July 19,
that Romney announced he had served Turnpike Authority Chairman Matthew
Amorello with written allegations of mismanagement.
Meanwhile, three Turnpike Authority board members have sued
Amorello, claiming that he tried to strip the board of its power and take
complete control of the authority’s operations.
A hearing on those charges has been set for July 26. A
separate hearing called by Gov. Romney to determine whether or not to remove
Amorello from office has also been scheduled for July 27.
At the federal level, The AP reported that the U.S.
Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General is going to step
in and oversee investigations currently being conducted by the Federal Highway
Administration and other government agencies.
At the state level, lawmakers proposed a bill that would
create a seven-member board with subpoena powers that would investigate
corruption and safety violations by contractors and government officials
involved in the Big Dig.
Two sections of the Big Dig project remained closed on
Wednesday, July 19, as repairs continued. The section of Interstate 90 where
the collapse occurred, which connects Interstate 93 to the Ted Williams Tunnel,
is still closed indefinitely, though the portion of the tunnel leading to Logan Airport is 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 on 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 AP.
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 masspike.com/bigdig.