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Transportation Boss: I Wasn’t Told About Big Dig Light Incident

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A light similar to this fell within the tunnels of the Big Dig. (credit: Kate Merrill/CBS)

A light similar to this fell within the tunnels of the Big Dig. (credit: Kate Merrill/CBS)

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BOSTON (AP) — Add the state’s transportation secretary to the list of officials kept in the dark about a corroded 110-pound light fixture that fell from the ceiling of a Big Dig tunnel.

The Boston Globe reported Thursday that Jeffrey Mullan wasn’t told by his staff about the Feb. 8 incident in the Interstate 93 tunnel until March 9. Gov. Deval Patrick was told on March 15 and later said Mullan made a mistake by not telling him, and the public, sooner.

Patrick, speaking to reporters on Thursday, said that Mullan needs to sort out what Patrick called a “breakdown in communication within the transportation organization” and report back to him.

“It’s a problem not just for you all, but for me that the facts sort of trickle out in bits and pieces,” Patrick said. “The secretary is going to get those facts now and report to me and report to you.”

Mullan did not initially disclose he’d been unaware of the incident for weeks and accepted responsibility for the delay in making the information public. He said there was a clear communication lapse.

No one was injured when the fixture fell.

Mullan has said all the fixtures located over roadways have been inspected and the tunnels are safe for drivers.

Mullan has blamed the corrosion on the installation and manufacturing process combined with the weather and the salt used to treat roads in the winter. The fixture that fell was located on I-93 northbound near the portal of the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Tunnel.

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Information from: The Boston Globe

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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