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Sinking soil beneath Mass. Pike connector

Settled ground that was once frozen beneath a portion of the I-90 connector tunnel  is beginning to thaw, but state officials say there is no need for alarm.

More worries have surfaced surrounding the Big Dig project, this time deep beneath the soil.

According to reports, the clay ground under the Mass. Pike connector tunnel, which was frozen during construction nine years ago for excavation, has settled.

The settled ground has caused an opening under the tunnel but highway officials said it is constantly being monitored.

According to reports, Administrator Frank DePaola said the issue is “not serious at all” and the cavity under the highway tunnel poses no threat to public safety.

He told the MassDOT board of directors that $10 million has been budgeted for future repairs.

Despite the fact there is no immediate danger to drivers, the sinking soil damaged a concrete drainage pipe that has already been replaced with a temporary bypass pumping system that siphons water from the South Bay interchange to the public storm water system, according to DePaola.

State House News Service reports that the cost of the pumping system was $1.2 million, and DePaola said the drainage pipe, which sunk approximately eight feet, will need to be replaced when the soil completely thaws by the end of 2013, or early 2014.

 
 
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