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For Immediate Release: 07/25/2011
CONTACT: Adam Hurtubise

MassDOT Tunnel Safety Update: Crews Complete Installation of Redundant Light Fixture Supports
Interim Step Secures Fixtures for Several Years Pending Long-Term Solution

BOSTON - July 25, 2011 - As of today, MassDOT crews as a safety measure have completed installation of redundant support straps on all of the approximately 25,000 fixtures in the Central Artery tunnels. This system was developed as an interim, 3-5 year solution to the light corrosion issues while engineers evaluate options for a long-term solution.

On July 14, a MassDOT engineer observed a light fixture out of alignment with the clips on the right side of the light not secured. The fixture was removed immediately and on July 15 re-installed with all new stainless steel clips. In addition, two high-strength straps were installed as a redundant support measure.

MassDOT crews had already begun the process of installing the redundant support straps on all of the approximately 25,000 tunnel light fixtures and the time of the July 14 discovery.

Following the July 14 discovery, MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan ordered an acceleration of the installation of the redundant support fix for all fixtures and committed to completion of the redundant system by early August. The intensified installation effort added outside contractors to the in house crews already working on this issue. To achieve this aggressive schedule, MassDOT mobilized additional lifts and electricians. While the crews worked throughout the tunnel system, an early emphasis was placed on the ramps and entry portal areas.

"On behalf of the MassDOT Board of Directors and MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola, I offer my appreciation and thanks to the crews that worked so diligently to complete this effort well ahead of projections to further ensure safety of the public," said Secretary Mullan. "The completion of the strapping to ensure that a redundant system is now in place will go a long way to restoring public confidence in the safety of the system."

MassDOT thanks commuters for their patience during the tunnel lane restrictions in non-peak traffic hours to support this work.

The MassDOT Tunnel Safety page on the web provides the latest information about ongoing steps to ensure the tunnel system remains safe

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