The tunnel on Storrow Drive is falling apart (wait, what was that sound I just heard …).
So, the powers that be came up with three plans: repair the existing tunnel, eliminate the existing tunnel and create surface parkway (with stop lights), or replace the existing tunnel with a more elaborate tunnel.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation asked neighborhood groups for their opinions.
One such group, the Storrow Advisory Committee considered all four options, then decided on July 18 to select Option D – do nothing. They delayed making a decision, saying they needed more time.
Meanwhile, the Back Bay Association, made up of business owners, chose Option A, to rebuild the tunnel, as is. But, the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay (NAGG) chose Option B, replacing the tunnel with a parkway.
Well, no one’s going to be happy with the results.
According to the Globe:
State officials, who had planned to quickly and inexpensively fix the crumbling Storrow Drive Tunnel, have learned that it was not waterproofed when it was built in 1951 and may need to be replaced, a much costlier and more disruptive project.
Cranston R. Rogers, who was a structural engineer for the Massachusetts Department of Public Works in the 1950s, told officials at the state Department of Conservation and Recreation that the lack of waterproofing has led to such extensive structural damage that it would be impractical to repair the tunnel.
This tunnel is about to collapse. I know it for sure, I see it every day (meaning every three-to-four days) when I go running on the Charles. It’s going to fall down. Hard.
Close the roadway, and replace it with a surface road.
(I’m surprised that the DCR has estimated that tearing down the tunnel will cost more (and take longer) than repairing it … but what do I know, I’m not a civil engineer.)
Storrow Tunnel may need replacing – By Michael Levenson, The Boston Globe
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