The Big Dig disaster

The Big Dig disaster

If you’re not from the Boston area, then you may or may not have heard about the Big Dig disaster. The Big Dig, as we call it, is a federally funded program to give money to campaign donors and employ politicians’ friends and relatives and former colleagues. Actually, it was supposed to be a project to build a major new highway through the center of Boston connecting north, south, and the airport across the harbor. But, see, that project—first proposed back in 1985—was only supposed to take about a decade and cost $2.5 billion dollars. The real project—we could call it the Big “Pig”—took 20 years and the current cost is $14.6 billion and rising.

Of course, if the thing were actually well built and ready for use, we might consider it water under the bridge and a lesson learned. But that’s not the case. In September 2004, the Interstate 93 tunnel through Boston developed a major leak, and it was disclosed that the tunnels were known to have been leaking as far back as 2001. In August 2005, the state police raided the offices of one of the contractors in an investigation into whether substandard concrete had been used in the project and the records faked to hide it. But the worst of it came on this past July 10, when a four three-ton concrete ceiling panels in the I-90/Massachusetts Turnpike connector to the Ted Williams Tunnel under South Boston collapsed onto the roadway, crushing a car and killing a woman, Milena De Valle, a grandmother and immigrant from Costa Rica. The I-90 and Ted Williams tunnel connecting Boston to East Boston and Logan Airport has been shut down causing traffic chaos throughout the Boston area and investigators are now finding massive flaws throughout the system.

Why you should care even if you’re not in Massachusetts

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