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$14.6 billion later, Boston's Big Dig wraps up
The Christian Science Monitor ^ | 12/19/2003 | Seth Stern

Posted on 12/19/2003 11:51:27 AM PST by theDentist

BENEATH BOSTON – With a tellingly simple ribbon-cutting ceremony, the last underground segment of Boston's Big Dig project opens Friday - completing major construction on one of the most complex and controversial engineering projects in human history.

It may not look as dramatic as the Hoover Dam, but the revamp of traffic flows in one of America's oldest cities rivals any past US public-works project in complexity - and outpaced them all in cost.

Its effects will be felt for decades and far beyond Boston: It is changing commuting habits here, may influence the prospects for any similarly large-scale efforts in the future, and has hit the pocketbook of almost every taxpayer in America.

But the Big Dig's scale - at its peak it employed 5,000 construction workers - was rivaled by high costs that have been a source of controversy since the project's inception in 1987 - after President Reagan tried unsuccessfully to wield a penny-pinching veto pen.

That's one reason the city will celebrate this weekend with a whimper rather than a bang - or even a pop. The Boston Pops concert scheduled for underground Thursday was canceled. After spending $14.6 billion (up from an initial forecast of about $4 billion in today's dollars), leaders and taxpayers weren't in the mood to shell out an several hundred thousand dollars for the show.

"It will be a mixed legacy," says David Luberoff, associate director of Harvard's Taubman Center for State and Local Government. "For a lot of people in the region it will be seen as a major positive addition. The farther you move from Boston, the less positively people will view the project."

The two-mile-long underground road will ease commutes - at least for a while - reconnect the city with the harbor, and replace an eyesore of a highway with a necklace of green spaces. Already, the spindly Zakim bridge over the Charles River has become a landmark on the city's skyline.

The city won't reap the full benefits for at least another year, when the hulking overhead highway is finally torn down and traffic patterns are completed. But this weekend's opening is surely the end of an era here. And as traffic flows underground, the city can finally assess whether it was worth the wait - or the price.

See here for remainder of story.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Government; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: bigdig; boston; plunder; rebuilding; unions
Finally the Dig is ending, and the big giant sucking sound fades from the Hub.

A search did not reveal this article previously existing....

1 posted on 12/19/2003 11:51:28 AM PST by theDentist
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To: theDentist
Its a shame the project went so overbudget and was filled with controversy, because the engineering feat was truly staggering.
2 posted on 12/19/2003 11:56:40 AM PST by Paradox (Cogito ergo boom.)
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To: theDentist
The big dig is a case study of pork
3 posted on 12/19/2003 12:00:52 PM PST by 2banana
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To: theDentist
click map for article and individual section detailsHere's some interesting info on the new real estate that will be above the "big dig" buried highway. (click the pic for the article and details on each section)
About the parcels The focus of the Big Dig project has narrowed to the manufactured "land" that will soon cover the buried highway in Boston's downtown. While many decisions have been made about the future of this corridor, a few remaining parcels have inspired a long debate about the character, purpose, control, and management of these highly visible civic spaces.
4 posted on 12/19/2003 12:08:37 PM PST by AgThorn (Go go Bush!!)
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bad link ... heres' the good one:

http://www.boston.com/beyond_bigdig/parcels/
5 posted on 12/19/2003 12:09:57 PM PST by AgThorn (Go go Bush!!)
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To: theDentist
"...may influence the prospects for any similarly large-scale efforts in the future, and has hit the pocketbook of almost every taxpayer in America."

One can only hope that the effect of the "influence" is NEVER TO ALLOW ANOTHER SUCH BOONDOGGLE TO HAPPEN!!!

6 posted on 12/19/2003 12:19:56 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: theDentist
Finally the Dig is ending, and the big giant sucking sound fades from the Hub.

In other news, Boston commuters can expect lane closures and delays as repair work will soon begin in the highway passing through what was once known as the "Big Dig".

A search did not reveal this article previously existing....

Posted here.

7 posted on 12/19/2003 12:24:45 PM PST by Fudd
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To: Fudd
Ummm.... that's this article, posted by me.
8 posted on 12/19/2003 12:27:32 PM PST by theDentist (This Tagline for Rent. Contact theDentist for further details....)
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To: theDentist
Sigh...Northeaster liberals and their big holes in the ground.
9 posted on 12/19/2003 12:30:12 PM PST by Callahan
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To: Fudd
Where is it posted? ;)
10 posted on 12/19/2003 12:30:19 PM PST by flashbunny (The constitution doesn't protect only the things you approve of.)
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To: theDentist
Well Fudd found it...why couldnt you?!?!?! Lol..
11 posted on 12/19/2003 12:30:31 PM PST by smith288 ("We're going to have the happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny F'n Kay")
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To: theDentist
$14.6 billion later....

And to think, Kerry and Kennedy wailed about spending 20 billion to rebuild Iraq!

12 posted on 12/19/2003 12:35:00 PM PST by BigWaveBetty (Internationalistas make me queasy.)
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To: theDentist
Was Teddy looking for a buried case of Scotch?
13 posted on 12/19/2003 12:35:27 PM PST by muleskinner ("There are some things worth fighting for")
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To: theDentist
...and the big giant sucking sound fades from the Hub.

I beg to differ. There are plenty of liberals who still suck residing in Beantown.

14 posted on 12/19/2003 1:01:16 PM PST by Rockitz (After all these years, it's still rocket science.)
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To: theDentist
...and the big giant sucking sound fades from the Hub.

I hadn't heard that Harvard was closing it's doors.

Apologies. There are just so many choices with that one. I'm like a kid in a candy store.

15 posted on 12/19/2003 1:03:44 PM PST by Rockitz (After all these years, it's still rocket science.)
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To: 2banana
The big dig is a case study of pork

Correctamundo.!

How long do you think it is before another one comes around? The Congress just cannot help themselves.

16 posted on 12/19/2003 1:10:36 PM PST by woodyinscc
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To: theDentist
For lord's sake I hope this does not get the socialist fools here in Seattle going! They are out of space for highways through the city, so they are trying to do an overhead tram. Over in Bremerton they want to spend several million to run a tunnel from the ferry to the exit of the town, about two miles, to ease the traffic from FOUR COMMUTER FERRIES EACH DAY WITH NO MORE THAN 200 CARS ON IT. So, we will spend millions for that stupid venture if it gets off the ground. Hopefully it will not.
17 posted on 12/19/2003 1:13:09 PM PST by RetiredArmy (We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way! Toby Keith)
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To: theDentist
Did I read this right 2miles = 14+ Billion? We're proposing a tunnel through the Cleveland National Forest Corona, CA to Orange County. 11 miles, 11 billion. Never thought Cal could be outspent.
18 posted on 12/19/2003 1:16:22 PM PST by breakem
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To: breakem
OK... here's the kicker. A columnist there once figured it out: It comes to over $115000 per INCH.
19 posted on 12/19/2003 1:42:54 PM PST by theDentist (This Tagline for Rent. Contact theDentist for further details....)
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To: theDentist
That means I'm worth $345,000. LOL, on a good day!
20 posted on 12/19/2003 1:46:51 PM PST by breakem
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To: theDentist
Isn't there a good way to just drive around Boston?
21 posted on 12/19/2003 1:56:16 PM PST by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get)
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To: woodyinscc
....."How long do you think it is before another one comes around? The Congress just cannot help themselves".....

Well at least it's not named the Robert Byrd tunnel!
22 posted on 12/19/2003 2:02:21 PM PST by aShepard
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To: muleskinner
"Was Teddy looking for a buried case of Scotch?"

Maybe, but it was really Tip O'Neil's folly!

23 posted on 12/19/2003 2:06:50 PM PST by TRY ONE (NUKE the unborn gay whales!)
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To: breakem
Never thought Cal could be outspent.

Well, it's like this: Every rinky dink "organization" held up the project for stuff like [neighbor] [ethnicity] [chip on
shoulder] a statue for something that didn't really have anything to do with the neighborhood, Boston, MA, or the US
taxpayer in return for not opposing the project.

Then, there's the shakedown by LEO's for paid details.

Then, no sh*t, if they came across a sh*t hole from pre-1950, they would have to shut down the work until archeologists
could sift through it.

That's in addition to all the expected delays, like weather, graft, and corruption.

24 posted on 12/19/2003 2:24:32 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: theDentist
Figuring 280 million Americans, every one of us paid $52.14 on this project to improve Boston’s traffic congestion.
25 posted on 12/19/2003 3:16:22 PM PST by RJL
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To: theDentist
"In its place, a 1.5 mile greenspace named in honor of John F. Kennedy's mother, Rose, will sprout."

Hey - They need something for Teddy, too.

Maybe they can leave a dirt road and a bridge.

26 posted on 12/19/2003 3:39:24 PM PST by Wumpus Hunter
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To: Wumpus Hunter
So did they find Jimmy Hoffa then?
27 posted on 12/19/2003 4:14:07 PM PST by sly671
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To: philetus
"Isn't there a good way to just drive around Boston?"


LOL!! That's what I was wondering in November, 2000. I was visiting there, and...trying to avoid the downtown area (and the Big Dig)...took a reeeeeally wrong turn. I literally drove aroundandaroundandaround downtown (at noon, no less!) for about an hour before I finally got back on the right track. What a mess!
28 posted on 12/19/2003 4:21:59 PM PST by Maria S ("…the end is near…this time, Americans are serious; Bush is not like Clinton." Uday Hussein 4/9/03)
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To: theDentist
With a tellingly simple ribbon-cutting ceremony, the last underground segment of Boston's Big Dig project opens Friday - completing major construction ...

Six months from now, the Boston Globe will be wailing, "they told us 'mission accomplished six months ago, and they're still working!! They lied!!"

29 posted on 12/19/2003 6:25:43 PM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: theDentist
For a case study on government largesse check out real estate prices in metro Boston pre and post big dig.
30 posted on 12/19/2003 6:29:37 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Calvin Locke
can we get the same folks out her in calif. Road construction is the only thing that seems to go well, once we decide to build one.
31 posted on 12/19/2003 7:07:57 PM PST by breakem
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To: RJL
And the Clinton Impeachment (from very beginning to end) cost us all about $0.06 each.
32 posted on 12/22/2003 5:47:40 AM PST by theDentist (This Tagline for Rent. Contact theDentist for further details....)
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