Precast concrete 40-ft X 12-ft air plenum ceiling panel modules are being removed from a 200-ft section of the Interstate 90 connector tunnel in Boston following a late night collapse on July 10 that killed Milena Delvalle, 38, a passenger in a car whose driver suffered minor injuries. The tunnel connects I-90 to the Ted Williams Tunnel and both are a part of the $14.6-billion Central Artery/Tunnel project.
Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Chairman Matthew J. Amorello, who oversees the CA/T, ordered the removal of about 15 modules on each side of the road after it was determined that nine imbedded anchors grouted into the tunnel roof a gave way above the eastbound lane leading to the module collapse. Each module contains five 12-ft X 8-ft panels and weighs at least 10 tons. The remainder of the tunnel uses a unistrut system cast into the roof. The connector opened in 2003 but Modern Continental Construction Co, Inc, Cambridge, installed the panels in 1999. A portion of the tunnel is expected to reopen July 12. Inspectors from the Federal Highway Administration are on site and HNTB, Boston and other firms have been called in to inspect all tunnel infrastructure.