Sumner Tunnel plagued by potholes

BOSTON — For months, drivers have been complaining about a dangerous stretch of pavement inside one of Boston's busiest tunnels.

If you live in East Boston, the Sumner Tunnel is practically unavoidable. We heard from a handful of drivers who said potholes inside the tunnel have caused flat tires and big delays, so we went to take a look for ourselves.

With a GoPro attached to the car, Boston 25 News reporter Jason Law entered the Sumner Tunnel and immediately saw what everyone was complaining about. A long path of jagged, broken concrete right in the middle of the two lanes; it seemed to go on for several dozen yards.

"You can't avoid them. You can't see them. It's dangerous," said Joseph Skoczylas.

Last month, Joseph's son hit a pothole in the tunnel. In addition to his son, two other cars got flats at the same time from the same pothole.

"You have to navigate it, it's like an obstacle course," said Skoczylas.

Last October, Tara Williams and her husband were rushing to the hospital as Tara went into labor with the couple's first child.

"We heard and felt the tire explode," said Williams.

Their car suffered the same fate.

They eventually made it to the hospital with a spare tire and help from a state trooper.

"I think there needs to be more of a long-term solution, not just patching them up as they come along, but really figuring out why is this happening and what can we do to prevent it from happening," said Williams.

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A spokesperson from MassDOT told us:

"Crews are aware of the conditions at this location which have been caused by winter weather conditions and low temperatures. Maintenance crews are continuing to carry out repairs as weather conditions and operations allow, and expect to carry out more permanent repairs in the near future when temperatures increase."

If this happens to you in a tunnel, here's what MassDOT says you should do:

  • Pull to the side of the road, if you can
  • Activate your hazard lights
  • Call 911 and follow instructions
  • Stay in your vehicle, if it is safe to do so
  • Wait for emergency responders for assistance

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