Big Dig ramp reopens

Aug. 9, 2006 at 1:31 PM
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BOSTON, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A ramp connecting a major highway to the tunnel to Boston's airport reopened Wednesday, easing congestion caused by the Big Dig closing.

The connector between Interstate 93 and the Ted Williams Tunnel to Logan International Airport is the first ramp to reopen since a ceiling panel fell July 10, killing a woman, the Boston Globe said. Inspections since then have found many problems with the design and execution of the country's most expensive highway project.

Gov. Mitt Romney announced Tuesday a new safety issue had been discovered: brackets holding up ceiling panels on the ramp were not designed to meet the safety standard of being able to hold three times the weight of the panels, the Boston Herald reported. The governor blamed Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the firm responsible for oversight, asking, "How can it be that oversight was so lax?"

The Big Dig, which replaced an elevated highway built in the 1950s was plagued by delays and cost overruns during construction.

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