July 11, 2006

Part of Boston’s “Big Dig” tunnel collapses, kills 1

BOSTON (Reuters) - A section of concrete fell from the
ceiling of a tunnel built as part of Boston's $14.8 billion
"Big Dig" project and killed a woman in a car, authorities said
on Tuesday.

The chunk of concrete fell onto the roof of a sedan late on
Monday, instantly killing the woman, said police. Her husband
managed to crawl out of the crushed car.

The ceiling collapsed at about 11 p.m. (0300 GMT) in the
eastbound Interstate 90 connector tunnel leading to the Ted
Williams Tunnel and Logan Airport.

The tunnel, which has been temporarily shut down, was part
of Boston's sprawling Big Dig construction project overseen by
the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.

The 15-year project, the biggest public works project in
U.S. history, was plagued by cost overruns and by tunnel leaks.
The last major piece of the Big Dig was completed this year.

In May, six men who supplied concrete to the "Big Dig" were
arrested and accused of delivering sub-standard materials to
the project.

In April 2005, one day after federal officials declared the
Big Dig's tunnels safe, debris fell from an overhead vent in a
southbound tunnel in Boston and damaged at least five vehicles.