26 loose wall panels removed from Sumner Tunnel
BOSTON (WHDH) -- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said 26 loose panels have been removed from inside the Sumner Tunnel.
The tunnel reopened Monday after it was closed overnight Sunday so crews could perform “pull tests” on 2,000 panels inside the tunnel. This came a week after 117 panels were removed from the Callahan Tunnel because one had fallen onto the road.
“Overall we found the conditions in the Sumner are better than what we found in the Callahan. Not unexpected, because the Sumner was renovated several years after the Callahan was. So the panel system was old,” said Frank DePaola, Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Administrator.
The inspection was prompted by a panel that fell in the Callahan Tunnel 10 days ago. Corroded supports were found in 117 panels.
Moving forward, the Sumner Tunnel will be inspected every six months. Inspections will be performed more frequently on the aging Callahan Tunnel.
“On the Callahan, we’ll continue on a three-month cycle and targeting a full replacement for next winter between January and April of 2014,” said DePaola.
Transportation officials are looking to change the entire system. They are considering using supports made mostly of fiber glass to reduce the risk of corrosion.