With the Callahan Tunnel Rehabilitation Project running a bit ahead of schedule, media were given the opportunity to walk the tunnel on Wednesday as construction work took place. The scheduled re-opening date remains March 12th, but MassDOT executives appeared optimistic that incentives for contractor McCourt could mean an earlier opening to traffic. Work started at both ends, at North Street in the North End and on the other side of the harbor in East Boston. Crews are working toward the middle using hydro-based machinery to blast off the foundation down to the steel rails so the flooring can be replaced with new concrete. The sides of the tunnel are also undergoing rehab so that a new bracket structure can be installed for the panels that will help brighten the interior space. The panels were removed after one fell and others were thought to pose a safety problem.
A direct hotline to the contractor has been established to resolve problems, such as noise. The contractor is trying to limit loud noise in the overnight hours, but they concede that has not always been possible. A “tunnel door” will also soon be in place at the entrance. In addition to reducing noise, the door will allow for heating when the concrete floor is poured. Temperatures were well below freezing on Wednesday afternoon when this video and photos were taken, but it was almost 40 degrees inside the tunnel.
Photos by Matt Conti.