Big Dig tunnels may open soon

| 8/4/2006

If the construction work can be seen as any sign, the closed portions of Boston’s Big Dig tunnels may be opening soon.

Two sections of the Interstate 90 connector tunnel between Interstate 93 and the Ted Williams Tunnel have been closed since a ceiling collapse on July 10 crushed a car and killed a female passenger inside.

The Boston Globe reported that construction crews have begun moving concrete barriers into part of the tunnel where repairs are taking place. The presence of the barriers most likely means that some lanes of the road will soon be open to traffic while repairs continue.

A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation told The Globe that, while the department wasn’t going to predict exactly when the tunnels would reopen, it would probably “be in days.”

The Globe reported that crews have finished installing new ceiling panel fixtures on the eastbound side of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, has called for J. Richard Capka, the head of the Federal Highway Administration, to remove himself from the Big Dig investigation. Capka was chief executive of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and oversaw part of the Big Dig’s construction from 2000 to 2002.

The Globe reported that the agency issued a statement maintaining that Capka is not participating in the investigation.