Could be a whole lotta shakin' goin' on near the East Boston entrance to the Sumner Tunnel this weekend, state cautions
MassDOT says people living and working near the entrance to the Sumner Tunnel in East Boston can expect "vibration and noise" this weekend as workers demolish the current tunnel ceiling as part of the ongoing tunnel repair project.
Heavy construction activities, which account for the most disruptive aspect of ceiling demolition, are expected to start at approximately 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28. Once this work starts, all available hours during the scheduled closure will be used to continue demolition work. In order to allow crews to safely remove the ceiling on the East Boston side of the tunnel, demolition work may also take place during the following weekend’s scheduled tunnel closure.
While this work is expected to generate noise and vibration, the project’s contract requires continuous monitoring of both to ensure abutters are not unduly burdened by the impacts; the project also includes provisions to halt work if impacts exceed established levels of disruption.
MassDOT continues that while the overall work to date has been done only on weekends, the tunnel will be shut completely for four months starting in mid-May - followed by additional weekend-only work for another 12 weekends.
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Demolishing the ceiling of a crumbling 88-year-old tunnel, 90-feet below sea level, sounds incredibly dangerous. The pressures and forces, pressing down on that ceiling are tremendous. I really hope they know what they're doing and wish them luck.
The ceiling being demolished
separates the upper ventilation duct from the roadway - it serves no structural function for the tunnel itself. The actual circular steel "ring" that is the tunnel's outer structure (and the one that takes all the pressure and forces) is not being touched.
And "demolition" doesn't mean that they'll remove the ceiling by violent means such as dynamite. Most likely it'll be with jackhammers and such.