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Big Dig, Big Leaks, Big Bucks 07:27
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Boston's Tip O'Neill tunnel must recieve continuous maintenance to minimize the corrosive effects of leakage. (boston_camera/Flickr)
Boston's Tip O'Neill tunnel must recieve continuous maintenance to minimize the corrosive effects of leakage. (boston_camera/Flickr)

What happens when you build a tunnel underwater? It leaks.

The Big Dig's tunnels are no exception. According to a recent report from the Dig's chief engineer, Helmut Ernst, leakage in the tunnels has caused widespread damage and will require costly repairs.

But the new highway administrator, Frank DePaola, reduced Ernst's seven page report to just two pages. He insists that the tunnels are safe, and all that's needed is routine maintenance.

Guest:


  • William Ibbs — He's a professor of Civil Engineering at UC Berkeley and the head of Ibbs Consulting in Oakland, California. Professor Ibbs, welcome to Radio Boston.

This segment aired on July 25, 2011.

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