August 8, 2006

Part of Boston’s Big Dig to reopen after accident

BOSTON (Reuters) - A busy stretch of Boston's "Big Dig"
highway tunnel system where a woman died when a concrete
ceiling panel crushed her car four weeks ago will reopen at
midnight on Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said.

The part being reopened is the ramp that connects Boston to
its airport through the Ted Williams Tunnel, Romney said.

"It will be a clear way to get to the airport from the
south," Romney told a news conference.

Other sections of the 7.8-mile tunnel system, all part of
America's most expensive public works project, will remain

Romney has said it may take months to reinforce all 1,454
locations in the tunnel where bolt and epoxy fasteners were
used to anchor suspended ceiling panels like the one that broke
loose and killed Milena Del Valle.

Traffic has been snarled for weeks after the tunnel's
eastbound lanes were closed to most vehicles following the July
10 accident.

Romney, a 2008 Republican presidential hopeful who has
personally monitored the repairs, is waiting for the Federal
Highway Administration to review a report about the repairs
that he sent to Washington late last week.

The $14.6 billion highway project, originally estimated to
cost $2.6 billion, has been plagued by leaks and cost overruns.
It took nearly 15 years to complete.