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Misperceptions Persist About Boston’s ‘Big Dig’

The article, “Leaks and Flooding Drain Boston’s Faith in the Big Dig” (Nov. 22), perpetuates misperceptions about Boston’s “Big Dig” tunnels. Here are the facts: All the experts agree that the Big Dig is structurally safe and sound. Some water is entering the tunnels because they are still under construction and partially open to the weather -- no revelation to engineers. Water comes down traffic ramps that are not yet covered, through manhole covers that are not yet sealed and into other openings that will be closed when the tunnels are finished. In the meantime, the water is readily managed by drains and pumps. All tunnels have some water leakage. Leaks are being sealed, generally at contractor expense, to meet project specifications. This work will be finished within a matter of months. The tunnels are safe now, and when the Big Dig is finished, they will perform even better than industry norms.

Matt Wiley

Senior VP, Bechtel Corp. Former program manager

Boston Central Artery/ Tunnel Project

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