The Big Dig tunnel where a motorist was crushed to death in a July ceiling collapse will reopen on Sunday morning, Gov. Deval Patrick announced Saturday.
The I-90 eastbound connector tunnel where 39-year-old Milena Del Valle was killed links I-90 to the Ted Williams Tunnel, Logan International Airport and points north of Boston.
With the reopening, just one tunnel that was closed after the accident remains shut down — the High Occupancy Vehicle lane in the eastbound tunnel, which is still undergoing repairs.
"I appreciate and thank all those who helped to repair and secure this important part of Central Artery and Tunnel project," Patrick said in a press release. "Now our attention must turn to holding accountable those who gave us substandard work in the first place."
Del Valle's July 10 death is still the subject of state and federal criminal investigations. Inspectors believe that bolts that held ceiling panels in place came loose because of failures in the epoxy resin designed to glue them in place.
Workers installed a new bracket and hanger system to support the concrete panels in the eastbound connector. The decision to reopen the tunnel on Sunday came after inspections by both state and federal officials.
An $8 million fix
About 31,000 drivers use the eastbound connector daily. Repairs to the eastbound connector cost about $8 million, Patrick said.
The cost of fixing all the problems found after a "stem to stern" review of the system ordered by former Gov. Mitt Romney is estimated at about $34 million. State officials have said they believe Big Dig contractors will have to pay for the repairs.
The troubled Big Dig project buried I-93 underneath Boston and opened new connections to Logan. The $14.6 billion project is the most expensive highway project in U.S. history has been plagued by cost overruns and leaks before the fatal tunnel collapse.