Keller At Large: Big Dig Lights Political Fallout

BOSTON (CBS) — The state admitted Thursday that it made a mistake in not telling the public that lights in the Big Dig tunnel are corroding, especially since one fell to the ground a month ago.

The 110-pound fixture did not hit any cars, and officials insist the tunnels are safe, adding they found corrosion in fewer than two percent of the system’s 23,000 fixtures. That’s 345 lights.

“We’ve been pretty good, I think. Pretty universally good about communicating with people, letting people know what’s happening. Maybe we made a mistake here,” said Jeffrey Mullan, the state’s transportation secretary.

WBZ’s Jon Keller takes a look at the fallout.

Criticism for lack of the disclosure if coming from both sides of the aisle and from many people on the street, as well.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino questions the decision to wait six weeks to tell the public. Sen. Tom McGee (D-Lynn), the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee said the right thing would have been to notify the public that they were taking “the right steps.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones talked with lawmakers.

But Lt. Gov. Tim Murray told the Associated Press it was the right move to await completion of a full inspection before sharing the problem with the public.

House Minority Leader Brad Jones said getting the facts straight is important, “but given the history, I think this shows a certain tone deafness.”

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

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