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Archive for Friday, July 14, 2006

More defects found in Big Dig tunnel

July 14, 2006

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— Inspectors on Thursday quadrupled the number of possible ceiling bolt problems in a Big Dig tunnel where a woman was crushed by falling concrete, adding to the urgency of the growing debate over who should ensure the safety of the troubled project.

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority said inspectors found additional bolt assemblies that were separating from 3-ton concrete roof panels, raising the number of potential defects to 240, compared with previous inspections that found 60 defects. The earlier problems were enough for officials to order a sweeping review of every roadway, tunnel and bridge in Boston's entire highway system.

Gov. Mitt Romney filed emergency legislation Thursday to take control over inspections and when to reopen the tunnel, which has been closed for three days. The governor has also called for the resignation of the head of the Turnpike Authority, which currently oversees inspections of the Big Dig, the nation's most expensive highway project.

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