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Big Dig pavement crumbles early; repairs to cost $1 million

Sections of Central Artery pavement that were supposed to last 30 years are failing in less than a decade, causing a rash of potholes and debris at the mouth of the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Tunnel and at other key points and forcing $1 million in unexpected repairs, the state’s top highway official said Wednesday.

Highway maintenance crews have been filling potholes as they appear, including rare midday work last week to repair a 4-foot-square flaw that could have posed a rush-hour hazard, said Frank DePaola, the state’s highway administrator. But the potholes are now frequent and extensive enough that entire sections must be repaved, causing temporary lane closures.

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