Repairs needed to fix crumbling Big Dig concrete
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A project to repair crumbling concrete will mean more lane closures this summer for a tunnel that's already had a lot of trouble over the years.
Road repairs to I-93 northbound will begin June 16 at 8 a.m. The Department of Transportation says the repairs will cause lane closures but that the work will provide a long-term solution to the issue of poor pavement.
“I do think the Big Dig has been pretty good with the traffic problems and commuting every day, but you can’t expect the infrastructure to hold up forever,” said one driver.
A Massachusetts Department of Transportation report says concrete used for some of the Tip O'Neil tunnel is cracking. The most severe problem spot is on the northbound side of I-93, as cars exit onto the Zakim Bridge.
“They don’t know how to build roads in Massachusetts,” said Dennis Verrete, a driver. “They need to go to New Hampshire and get instructed on how to build roads. They build roads and they last forever.”
The Department of Transportation says it was expected that the concrete would last for 30 years but is showing signs of failure after only nine. The frequency of the problem now warrants a complete removal of the concrete and repaving with "hot mix asphalt" pavement.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation says this is a maintenance issue and not a one of structural integrity. Still she says the problem needs to be addressed to keep the roadways safe and in good repair.
The repairs will cost $200,000. MassDOT says they may have to repair more roads, which could increase the price to about $1 million.
Repairs will take place on the weekends.