The Boston Globe is reporting today that an engineering firm is recommending the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority install about 900 new support anchors in the Ted Williams Tunnel. This is the same firm that was hired to inspect all Boston Big Dig tunnels following the July 2006 Boston Big Dig tunnel collapse that killed a 38-year-old woman when the car she was riding in was crushed by falling ceiling panels.
Powers Fasteners of Brewster, NY was charged last summer with a single count of involuntary manslaughter in the woman’s death. Milena Del Valle was killed in July 2006 with a portion of Boston’s Big Dig Interstate-90 connector tunnel ceiling collapsed and crushed the car she was riding in with her husband. Powers Fasteners provided the epoxy used to secure the bolts to suspend the tunnel roof ceiling.
These anchors, according the Globe story, would be a backup in 250-ft sections near tunnel entrances which officials say are impossible to inspect because they were designed without a crawl space. These new supports would “fortify epoxy bolts, which were blamed for the fatal ceiling collapse.”
Gary Klein, an engineering consultant from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Assoc., the firm hired to review all the MTA’s roads, tunnels and bridges, gave this recommendation today at the Turnpike Authority’s monthly meeting. He did not estimate the cost of installation.