Audit Reports

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Initial Assessment of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project Stem To Stern Safety Review

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On August 16, 2007, we issued our report, “Initial Assessment of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project Stem to Stern Safety Review.” This assessment is part of our ongoing independent oversight as requested by the Massachusetts Congressional delegation in July 2006 and subsequently reaffirmed by the NTSB Reauthorization Act of 2006. The Stem to Stern safety review is divided into several phases, with Phase I being a purposely limited and expeditious review to identify immediate risks to public safety. We evaluated whether the findings and recommendations in the Stem to Stern Safety Review’s Phase I report adequately analyzed immediate risks and whether necessary remedial measures were identified. We found that Phase I of the Stem to Stern Safety Review generally analyzed the correct project components, but certain items should have been classified as higher priority safety risks in the Phase I report, or necessary follow–up activities were not sufficiently clear. We also found that the leadership, scope, and methodology for Phase II of the Stem to Stern Safety Review need to be specified and aggressive action must be taken going forward. FHWA agreed with the findings in our report and concurred with its recommendations.