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Mudslides Delay Construction Of MBTA Red Line Extension

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For the past three weeks, mudslides blocking further excavation have prevented the Morrison-Knudsen. Construction Company from working on the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority's (MBTA) Red Line extension tunnel.

The company closed its excavation pit adjacent to the Cambridge Common September 12, and has not set a date for resumption of work, spokesmen for the MBTA said yesterday.

James McCarthy, an MBTA spokesman, said the contract for excavation of the tunnel requires Morrison-Knudsen "to take measures to prevent potential mudslides or cave-ins." McCarthy added that the construction firm has contended that ground conditions proved different from what they were led to expect from an MBTA engineering report.

Morrison-Knudsen yesterday refused to comment on the shutdown.

McCarthy said the delay set work back "at least three weeks" and added that he could not predict whether the company "can make that up."

MBTA officials declined to comment on the cost of the delay.

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