Callahan Repairs to Start on Fri.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
By Transcript Staff

MassDOT is reminding Winthrop residents that the Callahan Tunnel closure will begin on Friday, December 27.

MassDOT has made detour maps available to residents regarding the upcoming Callahan Tunnel closure. The Callahan Tunnel connects Boston to East Boston and points north along the Route 1A corridor. It is one of two Boston Harbor Tunnels that connect downtown to Logan International Airport.

The tunnel is slated to close for three months beginning on December 27 and will be closed through March 12, 2014. MassDOT’s John Romano said Eastie residents can send questions regarding the tunnel’s closure to callahan.tunnel@state.ma.us. Residents can also sign up to be on MassDOT’s mailing list at that email address. Residents can access project details and detour maps next week by visiting www.mass.gov/massdot/CallahanTunnelRehab.

Also, Massport has opened open the Martin A. Coughlin Bypass Road to all traffic to help ease the pain of the upcoming Callahan Tunnel closure.

Massport opened the road to all traffic on December 1 in advance of the planned two and a half month closure of the Callahan Tunnel.

The road is currently only open to authorized vehicles, but this week all motorists are now able to utilize this route to travel to and from Boston Logan International Airport. People who take the Callahan Tunnel to access the airport will also be able to use the bypass road when the tunnel closes for construction on Dec. 27.

The bypass road begins at the intersection of Lovell and Frankfort Streets south of Neptune Road, passes under Route 1A, and runs parallel to Bremen Street before it intersects with Chelsea Street. The route will remain open to everyone utilizing Logan Airport until the tunnel’s scheduled reopening in March.

The tunnel closure by MassDOT begins a $34.9 million project to rehab the 52-year old tunnel’s deck, curb line, gutters and replace the tunnel’s wall panels.

The Government Center project, which was slated to coincide with the Callahan Tunnel project, has been pushed back to March so the tunnel can be completed first.

After removing 117 wall panels from the Callahan Tunnel in December 2013 and an additional two-dozen panels from the adjoining Sumner Tunnel, MassDOT decided to remove all 2,400 panels from the Callahan.

The removal of the panels came after a 100 lb. wall panel in the tunnel fell off the wall of the tunnel and landed in the road. The panels, which date back to the 1990s, are 9 ft. by 4 ft. and replaced older panels in order to give the tunnel a better look and reflect light for improved visibility in the tunnel for motorists.

After the panel fell, MassDOT was forced to shut down the Callahan so inspectors could perform a ‘pull test’ on the panels that line the tunnel.

After the inspections it was found that 117 panels did not pass the pull test and had to be removed. MassDOT officials said the framing holding the panels in place had corroded.

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