January 17, 2013

All wall panels to be removed from Boston tunnel

The Associated Press

BOSTON — State transportation officials have decided to take down all 2,800 reflective wall panels from inside the Callahan Tunnel because it's more cost effective than conducting frequent tests.

The state Transportation Department decided last month that it would conduct quarterly tests on the panels after one 4-foot-by-9-foot, 100-pound panel fell to the road. No cars were struck and no one was hurt. Authorities say the panel fell because fasteners attaching it to the wall had corroded.

State Highway Administrator Frank DePaola told the agency's board Wednesday that crews have already removed about 75 percent of the panels.

He tells the Boston Herald it would cost just as much, if not more, to test the panels as it would to take them down.

The downside is that the tunnel is now darker.

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