'Boston Globe' Regrets Major Errors in Big Dig Story

By: (AP) The Boston Globe on Saturday acknowledged "significant errors" in a report that claimed some fire doors in the Big Dig highway project violated safety codes.

"Friday's story did not meet our reporting and editing standards, and we regret that," editor Martin Baron said in Saturday's editions.

The newspaper had reported that fire exits in the tunnels had been blocked or removed because of work to repair recent leaks.

But Big Dig spokeswoman Mariellen Burns said the exits that were covered or lack fire doors are not operational exits or escape routes, and are blocked because of surface construction above. No exits, she said, were blocked because of leak repairs.

"We still believe that this is one of the safest tunnels in the world," she said.

Officials at the $14.6 billion highway project also said that the fire doors are a secondary means of escape during a fire; the primary route of escape for motorists is to go back the way they entered. On Saturday, the Globe said its report calling the fire doors the project's main escape route was incorrect.

The tunnels meet or exceed federal fire safety standards, project officials said.

The Big Dig has been criticized for water leaks and huge cost overruns. Just this week, though, the Federal Highway Administration issued a report saying it is structurally sound and "remains safe for traffic."


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