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Big Dig Tunnel Trouble

<span style="font-family: arial">Ramp repaving needed on the entire I-93 Northbound roadway for approximately 600 feet from the tunnel portal to the first expansion joint where the road transitions onto the Zakim Bridge.&nbsp;<br /></span><span style="font-size: 11pt;font-family: arial"></span>

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced today that crews will repair about 600 feet of pavement in the Central Artery System.

The repairs will cost $200,000, and will be paid for with Pay Go capital funds, according to MassDOT.

“There have been failures of the concrete pavement at certain locations in the system,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola in a statement. “The most severe is located on I-93 northbound as you exit from the O’Neil tunnel onto the Zakim Bridge. It was expected that the concrete pavement would have lasted up to 30 years but is showing signs of failure after just about (nine) years. The existing micro-silica concrete pavement is cracked and is separating from the structural concrete slab below.”

Highway maintenance staff has been repairing potholes as they appear but the number and frequency now justifies the complete removal of the concrete pavement in this area and replacement with a modified hot mix asphalt pavement, DePaola said.

Crews will also repave a section of the I-93 northbound on-ramp from the Sumner Tunnel.

This maintenance work will provide a long-term solution to the pavement issue and prevent damage to vehicles from potholes and concrete debris, DePaola said.

“I want to be clear; this is a maintenance issue involving roadways within certain areas of the tunnels, particularly near the exit portals,” he said in the statement. “It is not an issue of the structural integrity of the tunnels or the tunnel system.”

Work will start on Sat. June 16., at which time the on-ramp from Sumner Tunnel to I-93 northbound will be closed.

All work will be performed on weekends, except for the weekend before July 4. MassDOT will provide further schedule details and updates as they become available.

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