The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced plans to perform a complete rehabilitation of the Callahan Tunnel, which carries traffic from Boston’s North End to Logan International Airport and Route 1A in East Boston. The project will require a complete closure of the tunnel for approximately three months beginning in January 2014.
The $34.9 million project includes rehabilitation of the 52-year old tunnel’s deck, curb line, gutters and replacement of the tunnel’s wall panels. The original deteriorated wall panels were removed in December 2012 as a safety measure due to significant corrosion to the panel wall anchor system.
“The Callahan has served motorists well since the day it opened in 1961 and was paired with the Sumner tunnel,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “However, every aspect of the tunnel is in fair to poor condition, and the time has come to put the Callahan in shape to last another 50 years.”
The proposed work schedule includes a full tunnel closure with detours in place and posted for approximately three months beginning in January 2014, followed by an additional four to five months of work requiring overnight closures between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The complete closure of the tunnel in the early months of 2014 will reduce the overall duration of the project, provide enhanced public safety by minimizing changes to traffic flow, and better coordinate with other local projects including Tobin Bridge work, which is scheduled to end for 2013 in November and resume in spring 2014.
Six-Month Look Back at the Callahan Tunnel
• December 21, 2012 — A single wall panel comes down during evening rush hour — no injuries to motorists, no damage to vehicles, no structural concerns. Three additional panels are removed as a precaution that evening.
• Sunday, December 23, 2012 — MassDOT conducts an overnight pull-test of all 2800 panels inside the Callahan Tunnel, removing approximately 120 panels due to either advanced corrosion or as a precaution.
• January 2013 — Plans were made and carried out in the month of January to remove all the panels from the Callahan resulting in dim conditions but no structural issues. This plan was carried out to assure safety and reduce the man hours that would be required to perform regular pull-tests inside the Callahan. The public is informed that plans for a new Callahan wall panel system would be included in the rehabilitation of the tunnel beginning in January 2014.