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Session Law

2006

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Chapter 153 AN ACT MAKING CERTAIN SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2007 AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE INSPECTION AND SAFETY OF THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY ROUTE 90 CONNECTOR TUNNEL AND ALL TUNNELS OF THE METROPOLITAN HIGHWAY SYSTEM.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. The executive office of transportation shall have the authority to retain the services of an independent inspection firm or consultant to conduct an immediate and exhaustive safety and engineering inspection related to the failed ceiling and fastening system in the interstate highway route 90 connector tunnel. Such retention shall not be subject to chapter 30B of the General Laws. The interstate highway route 90 connector tunnel shall not be re-opened until such time as the governor, in consultation with the executive office of transportation, approves its re-opening.

SECTION 2. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the inspection firm or consultant retained pursuant to section 1 shall have unlimited access to all Massachusetts turnpike authority facilities, plans, reports, drawings and documents, without reservation, that it shall deem necessary to carry out the immediate and exhaustive inspection. In connection with such inspection, all Massachusetts turnpike authority personnel shall report to the executive office of transportation and shall cooperate fully with the executive office of transportation and the independent inspection firm or consultant, and upon the request of the executive office of transportation, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority shall direct any of its contractors to report directly to the executive office of transportation.

SECTION 3. Once the interstate highway route 90 connector tunnel is re-opened, there shall be appropriated $20 million from the General Fund for a comprehensive critical infrastructure safety audit of all tunnels part of the metropolitan highway system. The executive office of transportation shall retain the services of an independent inspection firm or consultant to conduct such audit. Such retention shall not be subject to chapter 30B of the General Laws. The governor, after consultation with the executive office of transportation, shall have the authority to order the closure of any tunnel deemed unsafe for travel.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the independent inspection firm or consultant retained pursuant to section 3 shall have unlimited access to all Massachusetts turnpike authority facilities, plans, reports, drawings and documents, without reservation, that it shall deem necessary to carry out the comprehensive inspection. In connection with such audit, all Massachusetts turnpike authority personnel shall report to the executive office of transportation and shall cooperate fully with the executive office of transportation and the independent inspection firm or consultant.

Approved July 14, 2006.


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