Politics have kept costly Big Dig afloat

It took a dose of political hardball in Congress nearly two decades ago to launch Boston's Big Dig. Full Story
Coolmind

North East, MD

#1 Jul 15, 2006
Big bucks = corruption. But the billions are gone, the whole project is a waste... the tax payers have been scewed.
Northerner

El Paso, TX

#2 Jul 22, 2006
ha - We used to call it "Tax-achusetts". I moved (away) from Massachusetts and would never move back.
Damon

Chelmsford, MA

#3 Jul 23, 2006
I've been around this country of ours many times. Many other parts that are supposedly cheaper to live in, are in fact the same darn price. Just the costs are shuffled around.

The whole project is definately not a waste. If you've ever navigated in Boston, you'd know how much this project was needed. Too bad that it took so long and the quality has been low.

-D
Northerner

El Paso, TX

#4 Jul 23, 2006
Damon wrote:
I've been around this country of ours many times. Many other parts that are supposedly cheaper to live in, are in fact the same darn price. Just the costs are shuffled around.
The whole project is definately not a waste. If you've ever navigated in Boston, you'd know how much this project was needed. Too bad that it took so long and the quality has been low.
-D
Growing up, I was always fond of Massachusetts and felt very fortunate to have lived there. It seemed to be the "ideal" location. A short drive in any direction would bring you to beautiful beaches, majestic mountains or major cities. I loved the 4-Seasons, and the restaurants (there) are still amongst my favorite.(I love seafood!)
Had it not been for crooked politicians, greedy merchants, snobby (yup - snobby) uptight rich folks and overall disgruntled citizens,
I might have remained.
The tunnel mishap and the numerous 'issues' surrounding the entire project are very disturbing. And the (new) bridge, forgive me, the name escapes me, but it's design (while beautiful) isn't suitable for Boston's existing architecture. Just didn't 'fit in'.
We hardly experienced any 'improvement' in traffic. Massachusetts residents seem to be the most inconsiderate and aggressive drivers anywhere. Still, I love visiting Massachusetts and will continue to do so as long as my family remains.
Ron

Nahant, MA

#5 Jul 23, 2006
I worked on the big dig. The workers couldn't say anything because they would get fired for not minding their own business. The truck drivers were very much over paid. They got an average of $56.00 dollars an hour with time and a half after 8 hours. It was nothing to take home 3 or 4 grand a week.
the dig was not a waste though. Time is now cut in half to get to southie, south station is now a breeze to get to. The only problem we have is the people who like to slam their brakes on when they see someone get pulled over. THE COP IS BUSY, KEEP GOING STUPID.
Coolmind

North East, MD

#6 Jul 23, 2006
Gee, I'm so glad that my taxes are so well spent! NOT! And this is just one of too many cases of porl barrel spending... especially shameful at present when we are about $9 trillion in debt and getting deeper by $2 billion per day.

Think of how many schools could have been build with the Big Dig money!
Damon

Chelmsford, MA

#7 Jul 23, 2006
It's really not pork barrel spending at all. The traffic system installed in the 1950's was not designed for the traffic we have today. It's simply a matter of growth, and the highway system must grow to match population.

As far as how the new bridge looks, it actually does fit in quite nicely.

I think that people from Virginia are the most aggressive drivers around.

BTW: Isn't this a Marlborough, MA board?

-D
Coolmind

North East, MD

#8 Jul 23, 2006
Damon... does the area have adequate mass transit?

In the Wash D.C. area a car is not needed, thanks to buses and subway (Metro)
Northerner

El Paso, TX

#9 Jul 23, 2006
Damon wrote:
It's really not pork barrel spending at all. The traffic system installed in the 1950's was not designed for the traffic we have today. It's simply a matter of growth, and the highway system must grow to match population.
As far as how the new bridge looks, it actually does fit in quite nicely.
I think that people from Virginia are the most aggressive drivers around.
BTW: Isn't this a Marlborough, MA board?
-D
Sure - I think everywhere there are aggressive drivers - everyone seems to be in a hurry. But...in Massachusetts, they seem to be a combination of aggression with inconsideration. That "own the road" attitude. Other places, drivers seem truly oblivious. Like here in El Paso - it's a nightmare. 40-45 on the highway (no joke) in the high-speed lane and when they see police cars or border patrol they don't 'rubber neck' these idiots come to a complete STOP. Sometimes, I think 1 in 3 operators is under the influence.
BTW: Marlborough board??
Damon

Chelmsford, MA

#10 Jul 24, 2006
If you live in Boston you do not need a car as the MBTA goes everywhere, except it does not run into the wee-hours of the morning/night. Here is a link http://www.mbta.com/

If you live in the suburbs of Boston a car is absolutely needed.

There are many people who commute into/out-of Boston. There are trains that go in, but they only hold so many people. It's much more convenient to take a car in, trains are expensive and don't run at a high enough frequency.

Northerner: Yeah, this board at the top says this is a "Marlborough Forum".

-D
GWCoop

Chicago, IL

#11 Jul 24, 2006
RE DC /Metro vs. car

DC is peculiar in it's layout and SOME (small percentage) people need a car to move around. I travel from Boston to DC almost once every two weeks minimum. I live West of Boston outside of the 495 beltway. I take the T into South Station, take the Acela to DC and take the Metro over to Ronald Reagan and pick up a rental. I’ve learned to stay away from DC traffic. Now if the DC Metro ran more like a mass transit system and not a mini commuter rail it would be great. I mean the trains (yellow line) do NOT stop @ the Ronald Reagan international airport on Saturday morning before 7 AM!! The trains run right threw..BTW does ANYONE know WHY it was necessary to put in the ‘flashing lights’ in the floor/walkway when the train is coming? Looks cool and all but I bet it coast a few ‘schools’. Also turn up the lights DC has to have the DARKEST subway I have EVER been in. ok ok ‘nuf DC metro bashing. All in all since it cam on line so quickly, it’s not all that bad really.

The Big Dig is unfortunately an prime example of a great idea simply not strong enough to break the chains of political foolishness from pulling it down. When you have a project this big and a company like Bechtel Corp., one of the world's largest construction and engineering firms, making contracts and pushing out government inspectors, you’re going to have ‘issues’ Bechtel knew _just_ how to right a contract so as to maximize profitability and minimize accountability. And when you have former executives like George Shultz and Caspar Weinberger of the Raegan administration as ‘executive alumni’ you have some pretty ‘heavy’ clout to block any ‘negative’ initiatives at the state level. There are records after records of requests for information on the project and justification to the cost over-runs the where stalled.

As I’ve said before the Big Dig is an amazing improvement and engineering accomplishment. It really is. However it was never able to be what it was designed to be because too many people pulled it down. The Big Dig WILL repaired, it has to: it is now to vital for the area NOT to be repaired. But all the problems could have been avoided.

BTY I like the "Bunker Hill/William P Zakum Memorial Bridge"
Wheeew: name almost as long as the bridge
Damon

Tewksbury, MA

#12 Jul 24, 2006
I call it the Bunker Hill bridge.

-D
Mike NB

AOL

#13 Aug 7, 2006
Ron wrote:
I worked on the big dig. The workers couldn't say anything because they would get fired for not minding their own business. The truck drivers were very much over paid. They got an average of $56.00 dollars an hour with time and a half after 8 hours. It was nothing to take home 3 or 4 grand a week.
the dig was not a waste though. Time is now cut in half to get to southie, south station is now a breeze to get to. The only problem we have is the people who like to slam their brakes on when they see someone get pulled over. THE COP IS BUSY, KEEP GOING STUPID.
The truck drivers were only getting paid what the Davis Bacon Act required they be paid, which is the prevailing local union scale. Every worker on the project was paid union rates. Truck drivers are at the low end of the payscale when compared to iron workers, carpenters, equipment operators, etc. Davis Bacon is a sham, whose time has come and gone. It should be repealed, but no one wants to take on the trade unions. ALL workers got time and 1/2 after 8 hours.

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