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things that just are

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Big Drip

From the WSJ Evening Wrap:

At more than 20 years and nearly $15 billion, the Big Dig, which diverted I-93 into tunnels underneath Boston, has been the biggest, most expensive highway project in U.S. history. And you may not want to drive in it. After an inspection of the I-93 tunnels, one of which sprung a massive leak in September, an independent engineer told the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority that he couldn't guarantee their safety.

The engineer, Jack Lemley, told Massachusetts lawmakers in November that the tunnels were safe, but he has since discovered hundreds of smaller leaks, the latest black eye for a project dogged by cost overruns and controversy. Mr. Lemley also said that turnpike officials had withheld information about the problems and had no plan to fix them. The Turnpike Authority stood by the safety of the tunnels: "If we ever had a reasonable inkling otherwise, we'd close the tunnels," a spokesman told the Boston Globe, which broke the story.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he would ask the state's Supreme Court if he could fire the Turnpike Authority's chairman. Mr. Romney told the AP that he'd keep driving through the Big Dig, but "I don't feel as safe in the tunnels today as I did yesterday."


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