Sumner Tunnel back open, Pru Tunnel to be closed - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Sumner Tunnel back open, Pru Tunnel to be closed

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Smoke filled the Sumner Tunnel. People were trapped and hurt. This scene was only a drill but the practice was very real.

“Because this stuff happens. We do have these crashes and fires,” Major Terry Hanson of the Mass. State Police Dept. said.

State police and fire crews worked together in a mock crash simulating a fire and a loss of communication.

“They are life threatening, the things that can happen. If you’re the guy who is stuck in that fire you want us to practice so that we get there, we do it fast, we do it right,” Hanson said.

But doing it right meant closing the Sumner Tunnel down over-night for several hours. And while this closure is a one-time thing for training, commuters are also learning of some other projects that will impact them even more.

T-riders learned that the Government Center station is shutting down for two years for improvements. And drivers learned the outbound lanes of the Prudential Tunnel are shutting down for four of the next six weekends.

“It will be completely closed off and traffic will be diverted to one lane each direction on the opposite side,” MassDOT’s Frank Depaola said.

They're taking down the ceiling built 50 years ago as a way to sound proof the Pru. It's an $8 million project just to take it down and officials said they're not even sure yet if they'll put another ceiling back up.

“Over the past years we've begun to see signs of deterioration in that ceiling so it needs to come down,” MassDOT’s Jim Rooney said.

Officials said the ceiling of the Pru Tunnel is not in any risk of coming down, just that it is old and needs to come down. Officials said they'll see how the noise is inside the Pru without the ceiling then decide whether or not they need to replace it.

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