Big Dig lighting problems continue
Sterling\'s fixtures collapsed at the top of O\'Neal\'s tunnel.
On Thursday, as the worker drove through the ramp connecting the Leverett Circle and O\'Neal tunnels, he noticed that the nearby Jet fans were vibrating and skewed.
When they looked closely, they found that 5 of the 10 clips that fixed the light to the ceiling were corroded, making the light only partially fixed.
Jeffrey B, Minister of Transport
Mulan said the corrosion fixture found on Thursday had been inspected in May as part of a system-wide review that found widespread corrosion in large excavation tunnels.
But Mullan couldn\'t say why no corrosion was found on the Leverett round light fixture during early inspections.
\"We are working hard. I don’t know.
\"I don\'t know the details,\" he said . \"
\"I know it\'s right next to the jet fan.
I have my engineering team doing this now.
\"The workers removed the corrosion lamps found on Thursday and then reconnected with plastic tape, a remedy used by many lamps in large excavation tunnels since the lamps collapsed in February.
Of the 25,000 lamps in the system, more than 9,000 are reinforced with straps.
Mullan\'s department has been criticized for not revealing the collapsed lamps to the public for more than a month, and he announced the latest findings without prompting yesterday, asked reporters about his decision to resign later this year.
The Massachusetts Transportation Department also posted a full report on the situation online yesterday.
Earlier this week, Mulan suspended the work of Helmut Ernst, a senior engineer at Big Dig, and told the Global Times at Ernst & Young that he and his colleagues were trained, don\'t leave paper tracking on tunnel safety issues for fear of litigation.
The incident report suggests that the forced air of the jet fan may cause the Leverett circular light to vibrate more than normally.
The report also suggests that tests carried out in May weaken these clips, including prying out clips that connect the fixture to the ceiling.
The accident report showed that this type of test was suspended later this month \"because the clip could be compromised \".
The Global Times reported on Sunday that the corrosion rate of Leverett Circle in the south lane of Interstate 93 was 3.
6%, almost twice the system-wide average.
In the big excavation, this part of the system suffers more leakage than the rest, and may promote corrosion.
In 2010, the state drew 400,000 gallons of water from Leverett Circle.
Mulan said all fixtures near the jet fan will be re-inspected.
Spokesman Adam Hurtubise later explained that there were 35 jet fans in total for the nine tunnel ramps in the big excavation.
The fixtures in the three tunnels, including the recently discovered Leverett tunnel, are equipped with support bands.
The other three parts or most of them are reinforced with straps.
The last three ramps were scheduled for visual inspection yesterday.
Mullan described the crumbling lamps found on Thursday as something that has always appeared in the country\'s vast traffic network.
When asked if this represents a security issue, he said the tunnel has been under review all the time.
The accident reported that the lights went off on the right side of the road instead of going straight over the lane.
\"I think we have conducted extensive test checks on it,\" he said . \".
\"I think I am very happy that we have made good progress in both checking and bundling.
My engineering team assured me that they are working on an appropriate agreement and a permanent solution.
\"Mulan also spoke about his departure from the governor\'s Deval Patrick\'s government, his first comment since he announced on Thursday that he planned to travel to the private sector.
He said his decision had a \"zero, absolutely zero\" connection to the criticism he faced in dealing with the fixture incident.
\"Even though I like the job very much, I am committed to traffic reform, [and] the employees of DOT, my family are number one,\" he said . \".
Mulan said he would leave later this year but did not give a specific departure date.
He said he would help Patrick find a replacement.
Patrick said yesterday that he was already looking for a replacement for Mullan.
\"We have been doing this for a while,\" Patrick said . \".
Mullan told Patrick in May that he plans to leave later this year because he needs more money to provide three school tuition fees for his children.
Patrick declined Mullan\'s request for a $150,000 raise, but reiterated his support for him yesterday.
\"This is an outstanding minister of transport,\" Patrick said . \".
Noah Bilman can be reached at nbierman @ globe. com.