BOSTON (WHDH) - Crews will soon add new signs around the Sumner Tunnel in Boston after an uptick in incidents of over height trucks getting stuck in the tunnel.

The state Department of Transportation announced the move on Monday. In addition to new signs, MassDOT said crews will also retrofit chains on existing signs “to warn drivers of the tunnel clearance.”

“Safety is our number one priority when it comes to drivers on our highways,” said state Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt in a statement. “We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to limit truck incidents from happening as well as reducing the delays associated with these incidents.”

Officials on Monday said there had been at least three over-height trucks removed from the Sumner Tunnel over the past week. 

On Thursday of last week, video shared with 7NEWS showed one truck entering the tunnel before getting stuck.

Earlier this month, on April 5, video inside the tunnel captured the moment a truck got wedged under the low ceiling.

As officials work to curb the over height truck incidents, highway crews will install “variable message signs” to broadcast alternate routes to truckers needing to access I-93 northbound and southbound. 

MassDOT said highway officials are in the process of obtaining a “smart roadways virtual sign network,” which will use GPS and wireless technology to send specific messages directly to truck cabs. MassDOT said crews will also install new low clearance signs at tunnel entrances. 

State Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said officials “are committed to working with the trucking community to help respond to recent events.”

“Having additional signage as well as the utilization of new technology at key points around the Sumner Tunnel will go a long way in ensuring that we are doing our part to keep both travelers and our infrastructure safe,” Gulliver continued.

The Sumner Tunnel and the neighboring Callahan Tunnel both have height limits of 12’6”. The Tip O’Neill Tunnel and the Ted Williams Tunnel elsewhere in Boston have limits of 13’6”

Efforts to increase signage come as crews continue a larger restoration project within the nearly 90-year-old Sumner Tunnel. 

The restoration project began in 2022 and is expected to continue through much of 2024, with periodic tunnel closures scheduled throughout the year. 

New signage at the Sumner Tunnel also comes less than a year after the state Department of Conservation and Recreation launched a separate pilot program testing a sign aimed at keeping over height vehicles off Storrow Drive in Boston.

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