Some fire doors are blocked at "Big Dig" site

News Associated Press April 08, 2005
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Now that the leaks have been addressed, Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel project (the "Big Dig") has some fire doors to worry abo

Now that the leaks have been addressed, Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel project (the "Big Dig") has some fire doors to worry about.


The Boston Globe is reporting some emergency escapes have been boarded up or blocked as a result of work done to repair leaks in the I-93 tunnels.


The doors were installed to deflect smoke and flames for at least two hours, and would allow motorists to evacuate if a fire broke out. The Globe found one exit in the northbound tunnels that was blocked with plywood.


Project spokesman Doug Hanchett claimed the tunnels still exceed federal standards for emergency exits and that no operational doors were boarded up. Hanchett did admit that unfinished work at the surface had put some doors out of use. Fire officials were alerted about the situation.


"I'm not going to shut the tunnels down," Boston Fire Commissioner Paul Christian told the Associated Press. "It is the position of the Boston Fire Department that these fire doors were not pivotal for the fire safety of that tunnel. And now that these problems have developed while the tunnel is operational we can live with the conditions."


The Boston Fire Department, however, is asking that all doors must be replaced and in working order by September.


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