All wall panels removed from Callahan Tunnel
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Crews are pulling down all 2,800 wall panels inside the Callahan Tunnel.
All of the reflective panels will be removed, revealing dark, dirty concrete walls.
Last month, highway crews removed some of the panels after one of them fell into the roadway during rush hour. Investigators determined the 20-year-old metal connectors holding the panel in place were rusted and corroded.
Since the tunnel is scheduled to be overhauled in 2014, officials said it is cheaper and easier to remove the panels rather than test all of them.
With the reflective panels gone, drivers are advised to turn on their headlights when travelling through the tunnel to compensate for the darker conditions.
“Because we’ve taken down the reflective panels which help diffuse light in the tunnel, the concrete walls are exposed, they’re rough, they’re dark and they’re also dirty so the lighting level in the tunnel is lower. So, we’re asking people to use their headlights when they go through the tunnel. It will be that way until we do the rehabilitation. But, we feel this is the best way to assure that there’s no safety concern at all and people should be confident that the tunnel is safe to use, just a little bit darker than they used to,” said Frank Depaola, Mass. highway administrator.
About 75 percent of the panels have been taken down and the rest will be down by Monday morning.