BOSTON (AP) – An investigative report released by the state transportation department includes an email from a state highway official who warned that problems with light fixtures in Big Dig tunnels were a “big deal” and many were no longer safe.
The email was written by Helmut Ernst, a district highway supervisor, to the department’s legislative liaison. It was sent March 1, about three weeks after a 110-pound light fixture fell from a tunnel ceiling.
Ernst wrote that about 5 percent of 8,000 light fixtures inspected to that point showed “advanced deterioration to the point that they were no longer safe.” The memo said replacing all the fixtures would cost about $200 million.
Transportation officials said Friday that nearly all the estimated 23,000 fixtures have been inspected and fewer than 2 percent had serious corrosion.
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