Big Dig tunnel closes due to ice

Drivers traveling through Boston’s Big Dig tunnel started complaining of ice on the road Saturday. The $14.6 billion project’s drainage pipes froze, leading to thick ice on the roads and walls of the tunnel.

Ice was the thickest at the deepest part of the northbound tunnel, which is 120 feet below ground. The troughs and pipe system usually removes excess water alongside the underground roadway. Although there has been a water leakage problem in the past, this is the first time freezing has occurred. The tunnel opened in April.

Motorists reported the experience was like driving through a giant freezer.

To fix the problem, the tunnel was closed Sunday as workers wrapped the pumps, troughs and pipes with heated cables. Because Thursday’s temperatures are expected to be a frigid 5 degrees below zero, officials will be monitoring the pipes closely.