The firms responsible for designing and managing Boston’s Big Dig project reached a $458 million settlement with state and federal officials today. The settlement will allow these companies to avoid criminal charges in the 2006 fatal tunnel collapse and any civil liabilities with infrastructure problems. The settlement and terms were announced this afternoon at a press conference with U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and Attorney General Martha Coakley. Under the settlement terms, Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff will pay $407 million and 24 other companies involved in the project will pay about $51 million.
The settlement will keep Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff from facing criminal charges in the death of a 38-year-old woman who was killed in July 2006 when a portion of the I-90 Connector tunnel collapsed and crushed the car she was a passenger in. Her husband survived the accident.
State officials could seek additional money from Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff over the next 10 years if the project has a major failure in the future causing more than $50 million in damage. Its liability would be capped at $100 million.