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Archive for Sunday, December 24, 2006

Big Dig reopens months after motorist died

December 24, 2006

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— The Big Dig's Interstate 90 westbound tunnel reopened late Saturday after federal inspectors approved repairs made in the wake of the motorist's death, a state official said.

One lane of the I-90 eastbound connector - the site of the deadly accident - is already open.

"In one capacity or another, you now have the I-90 connector open in both directions," said Jon Carlisle, spokesman for the Executive Office of Transportation.

The road closed in July after concrete ceiling panels fell on a car, crushing 39-year-old Milena Del Valle.

Workers have spent months testing and reinforcing bolts that keep the ceiling panels suspended above the roadway. The repairs, which are nearly complete, will cost an estimated $34 million, officials said this week.

Del Valle's death is the subject of state and federal criminal investigations. Inspectors believe that bolts that held ceiling panels in place came loose because of failures in the epoxy resin designed to glue them in place.

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