Officials Ignored Defect in Bridge for 2 Years

From Times Wire Reports

Officials of Boston's Big Dig highway project admit they ignored a structural problem on a $100-million bridge for two years after the architect told them about it.

Tests show steel reinforcing rods were placed too close together within the structure of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge and did not allow poured concrete to entirely fill slabs in the span, project managers said.

The resulting gaps within the structure could shorten its life span and must be fixed, said officials of the $14.4-billion Big Dig project.

The bridge was scheduled to open in November 2002, but Big Dig officials had planned to unveil it Aug. 26.

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