Keller @ Large: A Look Back At The Big Dig

BOSTON (CBS) – The Big Dig is certainly the unwanted gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it?

Let’s take a condensed look back at selected low lights from the sorry history of this costly fiasco: the flagrant politicization of the planning process that helped fuel the horrendous cost overruns that left most of the rest of our roads and bridges statewide starving for minimal upkeep…the costly leaks in the Fort Point Channel and Central Artery tunnels….the sloppy construction of the slurry walls that helped accelerate the leaking…the deadly negligence of the ceiling panels in the Mass Pike tunnel that led to the death of an innocent citizen…the tunnel railings that proved to be dangerously misplaced.

And through it all, the bi-partisan political posturing and outright lying.

Listen to Jon Keller’s commentary:

Yes, traffic flows much better to and from the airport and somewhat better through downtown, and the Greenway is a pleasant-enough park, however grotesquely over-priced and short of expectations. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble enjoying any of that without thinking of the Big Dig’s overwhelming negatives.

Also See: Keller @ Large: Greenway’s Failed Promises

And it’s with that context in mind that I have a suggestion for the new Secretary of Transportation, Jeff Mullan, an honest man untainted by the blunders and egomania of the past — next time you stumble on yet another outrageous Big Dig design flaw, like the discovery in early February that heavy light fixtures were rusting right off the tunnel ceilings because they weren’t built to stand the weather, don’t wait six weeks before telling us about it.

In essence, Mullan says he didn’t want to alarm anyone until he could assess how widespread this latest problem was, but we’re well past that when it comes to this turkey of a project. Many, if not most of us assume that problems remain with the Big Dig, that will cost us and threaten us for years to come.

So Secretary Mullen, don’t worry about scaring us. We’re there already. The only thing YOU have to fear is that our chronic fear will be compounded by our hard-earned suspicion.

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