Sumner Tunnel restoration sees significant progress since closure, officials say

This is the second summer in a row that the tunnel is facing an extended closure as part of a $160 million renovation project

NBC Universal, Inc.

Monday was the first real test of the Sumner Tunnel closure in Boston, and officials say there has been significant progress made on its restoration since it was shut down last week.

"Work has progressed pretty significantly since we closed the tunnel on Friday," said Jonathan Gulliver, Massachusetts Department of Transportation highway administrator. "The pavement has all been pulled up throughout the entire tunnel. That means we come in with a miller [and] bring this down to bare concrete."



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

Gulliver says the contractor, J.F. White Contracting Co., has already begun exposing areas of the deck that needs to be replaced.

"They're going to continue that work along with replacing and repairing the drainage throughout the entire one-mile length of the tunnel," he said.

The tunnel will be shut down until Aug. 5, according to MassDOT.

"We have a month-long closure followed by a number of weekend closures after that," said Gulliver.

He says the contractor's main goal has been working towards ensuring that "those areas of the bridge deck, that require the full closure, [are] done while this one-month period is ongoing."

Gulliver says over the weekend, crews went through and did a lot of inspections after they pulled the pavement out.

Other going efforts in the tunnel, Gulliver says, include work to many of the life safety systems, pumping, ventilation, drainage and adding additional fireproofing.

Gulliver reiterated that the project is progressing, saying, "We've had 85 trucks of mill asphalt leave. We've had the contractor working around the clock with about 75 staff in the tunnel at any given time throughout the one-day period."

"We're looking forward to hitting the 25 percent mark later this week, where we would have another update for the media," said Gulliver.

Once the work is complete, it will extend the safe service life of the Sumner Tunnel for at least 50 years.

MassDOT is asking people to either use the Ted Williams Tunnel or take advantage of free service on the Blue Line.

This is the second summer in a row that the tunnel is facing an extended closure as part of a $160 million renovation project.

Contact Us