STATEMENT

Regarding the National Transportation Safety Board's Final Report on the Big Dig Ceiling Panel Collapse

July 10, 2007

"I thank the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for their thorough and independent analysis of the tragic accident in Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) that took the life of Milena Del Valle. My thoughts and prayers are with her family on what must be an extremely difficult day."

"I think it is clear that if regular inspections of the tunnel had occurred, the long-term issues surrounding the use of "fast-set" epoxy and the problem of "creep", which resulted in gradual bolt slippage over time, would have been identified and may have been addressed before the ceiling panel collapse."

"In January of 2007 I filed legislation to create a nationwide highway tunnel inspection program. My legislation simply takes the Nationwide Bridge Inspection program and adds highway tunnels. Under this proposal, the Secretary of Transportation will establish minimum inspection requirements for tunnels, including the maximum amount of time permitted between inspections and the manner in which inspections will be carried out."

At the beginning of today's NTSB board meeting, investigators stated that they will include the need to create a nationwide tunnel inspection program in their recommendations. I will work with my colleagues on the Transportation Committee to advance this legislation and establish an inspection program."

Mike Capuano


While the NTSB's complete report is still forthcoming, you can view a summary and other materials related to the July 10 meeting at the NTSB website.

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Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208