Boston, MA

Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Callahan Tunnel Vent Buildings


The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) owns several buildings housing large air exchangers to ventilate the Callahan Tunnel that connects East Boston and downtown. On the East Boston side of the tunnel, the buildings’ walls exhibited ongoing deterioration, including visible out-of-plane bowing, detachment of the brick masonry from the cinder-block backup wall, and partial collapse. SGH served as the structural engineer of record for the assessment and restoration project to address the distressed masonry walls.

SGH evaluated the 1950s vent buildings to understand existing conditions and evaluate options for repairs. Highlights of our work include:

  • Using findings from our hands-on survey with laser scanning performed by another firm to develop topography plots showing the magnitude of outward bowing
  • Assessing the stability of the buildings’ composite masonry walls
  • Developing construction documents to restore and replace portions of the brick and masonry facade elements, while maintaining the buildings’ aesthitics and character

Project Summary

Repair & Rehabilitation
Structures | Building Enclosures
Infrastructure & Transportation

Key team members

Greggrey  Cohen
Greggrey Cohen
Structural Repair and Rehabilitation Division Head, Boston
Gustavo Tumialan
Gustavo Tumialan
Associate Principal