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Sumner Tunnel to close for inspection of wall panels

The Sumner Tunnel will be closed from 9 tonight until 5 a.m. Monday for wall panel inspections, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The Sumner Tunnel’s wall panel system is similar to that of the Callahan Tunnel, where problems resulting from corrosion were discovered last week.

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An inspection of the Callahan Tunnel was conducted last week after one panel fell onto the road Dec. 21, causing a traffic jam that lasted several hours. Three additional panels were immediately taken down. Workers ultimately removed approximately 120 panels in the Callahan Tunnel because the frames supporting them had become corroded, increasing the risk that they would fall.

During the closure of the Sumner Tunnel, state workers will test the stability of its 2,400 wall panels, MassDOT said in a statement.

MassDOT is encouraging drivers to use the Tobin Bridge inbound or the I-90 Ted Williams Tunnel westbound as alternate routes, the statement said.

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com.
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