Following the eighth traffic death linked to tunnel railings in Boston, the Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation released a report in April recommending that some of the Sumner Tunnel's 58,000 railings be removed or covered. According to state police, a truck driver from Salem, Mass., died on March 27, when he was thrown from his vehicle into handrails after hitting a Jersey barrier while exiting the tunnel at high speed without a seat belt. Recommendations include removing 14% or roughly 8,000 linear ft of maintenance walkway railing not needed for emergency egress, covering some railing in curved areas with chain link
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.