Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Taking the Tunnel is Nuts

"State set to replace faulty nuts in Big Dig’s tunnels" by Nicole Dungca Globe Staff  October 21, 2015

State transportation workers are set to replace hundreds of flawed nuts on light fixtures throughout the Big Dig’s tunnels after inspectors found a cracked one last month  a top highway administrator said Wednesday.

Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation said that while no light fixtures were in danger of falling, the department would replace faulty nuts out of an abundance of caution.

“If one nut is showing the slightest sign of deterioration, we’re removing that and replacing that nut on that system,” Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin said during the monthly state transportation board meeting. “It just makes good sense.”

Officials did not have an estimate of how much the replacements would cost.

Safety within the Big Dig’s tunnels has long been a concern. In 2011, a 110-pound light fixture in the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Tunnel crashed onto the roadway because of corroded supports. In 2006, a concrete ceiling panel crashed to the ground inside a Big Dig tunnel, killing a woman in a car.

$22 million (with debt interest payments stretching out for decades) for a piece of sh**.

Tinlin told board members that officials determined no imminent safety concern existed when they discovered the faulty nut, but officials did “not want to wait for something to break.”

“If we have learned anything in the past, it’s that the diligence that we’re showing is warranted,” he said.

Tinlin said that after an inspector found a single cracked nut in the Ted Williams Tunnel in mid-September, MassDOT officials asked inspectors to pay more attention to light fixture nuts throughout the tunnel.

At that point, inspectors discovered 41 other nuts that needed replacing....


Here is why there is a problem:

Overtightening eyed as cause for flaws in Big Dig tunnel nuts


Maybe it was the leaks:

"New $44.5m MBTA station in Salem already has water issue" by Kathy McCabe Globe Staff  October 21, 2015

SALEM — The waiting room at the new $44.5 million Salem MBTA commuter rail station was built to keep passengers dry and safe during stormy weather. But Pamela Schmidt found the room soaked with water when she arrived amid a heavy rain storm on the morning of Sept. 30 to take a train to Boston.

“The windows appeared to be leaking. The ceiling was dripping. The ticket kiosks were standing in pools of water and the wooden benches were soaked,” said Schmidt, a community college professor who commutes from Salem. “Why couldn’t they waterproof it?

“It seems to me that it should have been designed to handle severe weather events,” Schmidt said. “What’s the point of having an indoor waiting room if it isn’t dry?”

Other commuters also are puzzled about how the rain gets into the waiting room, which is on the ground floor of the station. The train platform is below (there are stairs and an elevator) and the parking garage above.

“I don’t know if the general slope of the ground is off,” said Dillon James, a Salem resident who takes the train to Boston for his job as an editor. “But when there are heavy rains, there tends to be a lot of water pooling and puddles forming.”

The MBTA first became aware of the water issue in May, and it appears to be limited to severe weather events, said spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

“The precise source of the water has not been identified,” Pesaturo wrote in an e-mail to the Globe. “Engineers have found no structural defects.”

One point of entry could be the upper-floors of the five-story garage, which are not enclosed, Pesaturo said.

The MBTA station was built with $36.8 million in state transportation funding, and $4.8 million in federal funding, according to the T.

All for a piece of crap. 

So who skimmed some loot?

The waiting room was one of several amenities, along with a bike storage area and curbside pickup, intended to make the station more customer-friendly....


Also see:

Meet the guys charged with fixing the T

Kenneth Green named permanent chief of MBTA Transit Police

Teen seriously injured in stabbing at Jackson Square T station

Teen arrested in fatal stabbing near Jackson Square Station

Biking to work increasingly popular in Boston, census shows

Isn't that a Citi bike in the rack?

Time to head to the party.