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For Immediate Release: 06/20/2013
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

MassDOT Announces Callahan Tunnel Complete Rehabilitation Project to Require Three-Month Tunnel Closure Beginning January 2014

BOSTON- Thursday, June 20, 2013- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) today announced plans to perform a complete rehabilitation of the Callahan Tunnel, which carries traffic from Boston’s North End to Logan International Airport and Route 1A in East Boston.  The project will require a complete closure of the tunnel for approximately three months beginning in January 2014.  


The $34.9 million project includes rehabilitation of the 52-year old tunnel’s deck, curb line, gutters and replacement of the tunnel’s wall panels.  The original deteriorated wall panels were removed in December 2012 as a safety measure due to significant corrosion to the panel wall anchor system.


“The Callahan has served motorists well since the day it opened in 1961 and was paired with the Sumner tunnel,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola.  “However, every aspect of the tunnel is in fair to poor condition, and the time has come to put the Callahan in shape to last another 50 years.”


The proposed work schedule includes a full tunnel closure with detours in place and posted for approximately three months beginning in January 2014, followed by an additional 4-5 months of work requiring overnight closures between 11p.m. and 5a.m.


The complete closure of the tunnel in the early months of 2014 will reduce the overall duration of the project, provide enhanced public safety by minimizing changes to traffic flow, and better coordinate with other local projects including Tobin Bridge work, which is scheduled to end for 2013 in November and resume in spring 2014.


MassDOT will use extensive public outreach prior to the tunnel closure to provide information about alternate routes and detours and during the closure implement posted detours with message boards and provide regional signs directing motorists on Route 1, Route 2, Route 3, I-95 and I-93 to use alternate routes or public transportation to access Logan Airport.


In order to inform the public about the rehabilitation project including the preliminary work schedule and expected traffic impacts, MassDOT has scheduled two public information meetings in Boston regarding the Callahan Tunnel Rehabilitation Project as follows:


·       Thursday, June 20 – 6:30pm, Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennet Street


·       Wednesday, June 26 – 6:30pm, East Boston High School, 86 White Street


6-Month Look Back at the Callahan Tunnel:


Friday, December 21, 2012 – A single wall panel comes down during evening rush hour—no injuries to motorists, no damage to vehicles, no structural concerns. Three additional panels are removed as a precaution that evening.


Sunday, December 23, 2012 – MassDOT conducts an overnight pull-test of all 2800 panels inside the Callahan Tunnel, removing approximately 120 panels due to either advanced corrosion or as a precaution.


January 2013 – Plans were made and carried out in the month of January to remove all the panels from the Callahan resulting in dim conditions but no structural issues. This plan was carried out to assure safety and reduce the man hours that would be required to perform regular pull-tests inside the Callahan. The public is informed that plans for a new Callahan wall panel system would be included in the rehabilitation of the tunnel beginning in January 2014. 


For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.