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Cement truck rollover punches hole in Prudential Tunnel

The Prudential Tunnel was temporarily closed earlier today — and one exit remains shut down — due to the rollover of a cement truck that left a gaping hole in the tunnel wall.

“It punched a significant-sized hole through the wall but did not go through it,” state police Trooper Todd Nolan said. “It’s still resting inside the tunnel.”

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said an initial review of the tunnel has revealed no structural concerns, but that a full inspection was ongoing. The crash is not expected to impact planned ceiling removal that’s set to begin in the tunnel tonight, MassDOT said.

MassDOT said Exit 22 on the Pike eastbound for the Prudential Center and Copley Square will be closed while crews remove an overturned truck on the offramp.

The accident happened while the truck was exiting off the Pike eastbound onto Exit 22 in the tunnel, Nolan said.

Nolan said the exact cause of the incident is still under investigation. “It’s a priority to get the roads reopened as soon as we can,” Nolan said. The evening commute is now rolling through the tunnel.

The truck is believed to have leaked diesel fuel and cement, making the task that much more “daunting,” Nolan said earlier today. There was no initial reports of injuries, though the driver of the truck is being examined, according to Nolan.

The driver has not been charged.

“That’s still under investigation,” Nolan said. “Really, what it will come down to is whatever they determine caused the crash. The actual truck needs to be inspected, road conditions and things of that nature. There are a lot of factors in making that decision.”

FROM MASSDOT:

Drivers should expect delays and avoid the area if possible while the exit remains closed.  Cleanup efforts will also require the closure of the right travel lane on I-90 eastbound.

Measures to mitigate expected traffic impacts include the following:

  • Vehicles traveling eastbound on the Turnpike destined for the Back Bay and Downtown area should get off the Turnpike at Exit 18 for Brighton/Cambridge and use the river roads to reach their destination.
  • Vehicles continuing eastbound on the Turnpike can also use Exit 24A for South Station to access Kneeland Street and Atlantic Avenue to reach the Back Bay/Downtown area.
  • The southbound Zipper Lane on the Southeast Expressway will be open by 2 p.m.
  • The left-side HOV exit for Logan Airport and South Station on I-93 northbound will be open for all vehicles.

Source: Boston Herald