Central Artery/Tunnel Electrical Finishes - Boston, Mass.
When it opened in 1959, the original Central Artery comfortably carried about 75,000 vehicles a day. By the late 1980s, it carried upwards of 200,000, making it one of the most congested highways in the United States. This extraordinary traffic mess, often congested for 16 hours per day, represented a continuous economic and quality-of-life drain on Boston and New England.
The goal of the Central Artery/Tunnel project, more commonly know as the “Big Dig”, was to replace the six-lane elevated highway with an eight-to-ten-lane underground expressway directly beneath the existing road, culminating at its northern limit in a 14-lane, two-bridge crossing of the Charles River. After the underground highway opened to traffic, the crumbling elevated highway was demolished and in its place is open space.
Mass. Electric provided permanent power and lighting throughout the city for the majority of the “Big Dig” project. The scope of work performed included 18,000 tunnel light fixtures, 400 roadway pole lights, 7 substation buildings along with 10 million feet of 600 volt wire and 44 miles of 15KV distribution cable. With 37 other prime contracts to coordinate, the MEC project team was required to continuously monitor the progress schedule to insure that it would not fail to achieve any of the 400 milestones designated by the contact. The contract was completed in 2006.