Power Marketplace’s public service journalism 💙 Give Now

A light at the end of the Big Dig tunnel

Marketplace Staff Dec 27, 2007


Doug Krizner: Boston’s Big Dig officially comes to an end New Year’s eve. It’s the most expensive public works project in the country’s history. From WBUR, Monica Brady-Myerov reports on the lessons learned.

Monica Brady-Myerov: After 25 years of planning, funding and building the seven and a half mile highway project is complete — at a final cost of nearly $15 billion. That’s six times the original estimate.

State officials now acknowledge lax oversight led to the overruns. Shoddy work and materials also led to numerous leaks, and the accidental death of a motorist. But more broadly, the Big Dig’s mismanagement may give other transportation planners pause when considering similar projects.

Michael Widmer is president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association:

Michael Widmer: The lessons here are quite common in terms of major public works projects across the county, I think, which is to say long delays and cost overruns.

The next Big Dig could be brewing in Seattle. Government officials are at odds over how to fix a crumbling viaduct through downtown. The city wants to build an underground tunnel. The state says the design and the financing are shaky.

In Boston, I’m Monica Brady-Myerov for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

This is NOT a paywall. 

Marketplace is community-funded public service journalism. Give in any amount that works for you – what matters is that you give today.