Governor to form Big Dig task force

| Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wants to streamline the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in the wake of a fatal accident in the Authority’s Big Dig project.

The Associated Press reported that Romney said on Tuesday, Aug. 1, that he plans to ask the Turnpike Authority board to approve the creation of a task force that will examine the agency and look at areas where it can be merged with the state Executive Office of Transportation and other agencies.

The announcement came days after Turnpike Authority chairman Matthew Amorello agreed to step down amid pressure from Romney and others involved in the Big Dig investigation.

The investigation centers on the July 10 collapse of a section of one of the Big Dig’s tunnels that left a woman dead. Two sections of the Big Dig remain closed indefinitely pending repairs and further investigation. While Romney has given no official word as to when they will reopen, The AP reported that he said it would be nice if it happened by Labor Day.

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 a week after the accident and still remains closed as well.

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.

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