Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ordered a shutdown of the
eastbound lanes of the Ted Williams Tunnel on Thursday, July 20, as the
criminal investigation into the July 10 collapse of a Big Dig tunnel continued.
The Associated Press reported that no immediate reason was given for the closure. This marks the third
section of the Interstate 90 tunnel to be closed following the collapse that
crushed a car and left one woman dead.
The section of Interstate 90 where the collapse occurred, which
connects Interstate 93 to the Ted Williams Tunnel, is still closed indefinitely.
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 July 17 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.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly said that his
office is still investigating whether criminal charges would be filed in
relation to the accident.
The Associated Press reported that investigators from Reilly’s office were busy reconstructing
pieces of the three-ton concrete slabs that fell from a section of the tunnel
along Interstate 90 and crushed a car below. Their findings could determine
whether involuntary manslaughter charges are warranted.
The investigation is focusing on bolts, epoxy glue, anchors, concrete
and other materials from the scene, which have are being stored and catalogued
at an offsite facility, according to The AP.
Engineers and construction crews are still working on reinforcing the
area of the tunnel where the collapse occurred. The AP reported that Romney said he wanted the tunnel
re-opened as early as next week.
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.