Central Artery/Tunnel Electrical Finishes - Boston, Mass.
When it opened in 1959, the original above-ground Central Artery Highway comfortably carried about 75,000 vehicles a day through the city of Boston. By the late 1980s, it was moving upwards of 200,000 cars, making it one of the most congested highways in the United States. This extraordinary traffic mess, often congested for sixteen hours per day, represented a continuous economic and quality-of-life drain on those commuting to and from the city of Boston.
The goal of the Central Artery/Tunnel project, commonly referred to 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 to a fourteen lane, two-bridge crossing of the Charles River. After the underground highway opened, the elevated roadway was demolished and replaced by the mile-and-a-half-long Rose Kennedy Greenway park system.
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, seven substation buildings along with ten million feet of 600-volt wire and forty-four miles of 15KV distribution cable. With thirty-seven other prime contracts to coordinate, the MEC project team was required to continuously monitor the progress schedule to ensure that it would not fail to achieve any of the four hundred milestones designated by the contact. The contract was completed in 2006.