The Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. Tunnel
is a highway tunnel built as part of the Big Dig
in Boston, Massachusetts
. It carries the Central Artery
underneath downtown Boston, and is numbered as Interstate 93
, U.S. Route 1
, and Route 3
. It roughly follows the route of the old elevated Central Artery, though the northbound entrance, at the corner of Kneeland St. and Atlantic Ave., is somewhat east of the southbound exit (at Kneeland and Albany St.) to allow for a reconfigured interchange with the Massachusetts Turnpike
. It runs from the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge
at its north portal to Boston's Chinatown
at its south portal.
The O'Neill Tunnel was and remains quite controversial due to the high price of the construction and what was found to be mediocre workmanship. The deep side walls of the tunnel (over in some areas) had to be constructed using slurry wall
construction. The tunnel is notoriously leaky due to the high groundwater levels in the area and the improper construction of the slurry walls, a situation that has led to additional controversy in the wake of the considerable controversy over massive cost overruns and corruption allegations during the project.
Upon its completion in 2006, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
proposed to name it the Liberty Tunnel. The state legislature and the Massachusetts delegation to Congress
(all of whom were Democrats) opposed the choice, and it was officially named after O'Neill (a longtime Speaker of the United......