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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Big Dig in Boston finally done.

    Key figures associated with the Big Dig

    By The Associated Press Tue Dec 25, 1:51 PM ET

    Figures associated with Boston's Big Dig highway project:

    Original cost estimate: $2.6 billion

    Current cost estimate: $14.798 billion

    Length of project: 7.5 miles, about half in tunnels

    Amount of dirt removed: 16 million cubic yards

    Number of workers at peak construction: 5,000

    Number of workers killed: 4

    Number of lanes on the old elevated highway: 6

    Number of lanes on the new highway system: 8-10

    Number of historic artifacts excavated from the Big Dig's path: 200,000

    Weight of the project's final environmental impact report: 44 pounds

    Number of leaks discovered in roof-wall joints in 2004: 2,000 to 3,000

    Number of cars using the old elevated highway when it opened in 1959: 75,000/day

    Number of cars expected to use the new underground highway by 2010: 245,000/day

    Average trip through the center of Boston on the old Central Artery: 19.5 minutes

    Average trip through the center of Boston using the Big Dig: 2.8 minutes.

    Source: Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and Associated Press news reports

    ****************************************************

    So 2.8 minutes to get through the center of Boston today... I wonder what that figure will look like in 2010 when 245,000 trips a day are made. How about in 2015? 2020?

    I wonder what cycling infrastructure could have been built for the original figure of 2.6 billion dollars.

  2. #2
    Thin mint, anyone? ferd_miller's Avatar
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    What amazes me about before/after figures for big projects like this is just how far wrong their cost estimates inevitably turn out to be. In this case, it cost over *5 times* the initial estimate....5 TIMES MORE - WTF ? Were they just pulling numbers out of their rectums from the outset or what?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferd_miller View Post
    What amazes me about before/after figures for big projects like this is just how far wrong their cost estimates inevitably turn out to be. In this case, it cost over *5 times* the initial estimate....5 TIMES MORE - WTF ? Were they just pulling numbers out of their rectums from the outset or what?

    corruption to the core


    also forgot one figure:

    Number of average citizens killed due to blatant incompetence
    in tunnel construction, and burying early warnings from engineers: 1

    out of court settlement to the above: $6 million, more to come

  4. #4
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    But the burning question is, how many bike lanes does it have?
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  5. #5
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Why isn't the strip of ground above the tunnel designed as a "Linear Park"?

    (i.e.- a BIKEWAY).

    Biggest , stupidest mistake I ever saw, to not make the surface (above Boston's Big Dig) a bikeway.

  6. #6
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    I thought they were planning on a "Greenway" space running over the tunnel--parks, paths, and ped-ways. Is this not happening anymore?

    Big Dig is mainly interstate highway, so no accommodation for cyclists. There was a time when I was commuting from the North End to the Fort Point area when every week I'd have to alter my route because of Big Dig construction. For a while there, streets would change, disappear, re-open, be created, or turn one-way on a daily basis.

    Trouble is, it actually works well, alleviating the snarl that was through traffic before the Dig opened.

    Not part of the dig, and I think planned where there was already Rt. 93 overhead, but they are supposedly taking a part of unused land under the bridge to use for a skate park.

    Not specifically cycling-related, but a greenway and skatepark where there were none before is incrementally a step forward. Even if building for traffic is a monumental step back.

  7. #7
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    Let's see... (Scratches head) ...that would be about $363 million per foot! I sure hope these aren't the folks they expect to run nationalized health care!
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
    Let's see... (Scratches head) ...that would be about $363 million per foot! I sure hope these aren't the folks they expect to run nationalized health care!
    More like $373,000 per foot. A bargain!

  9. #9
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferd_miller View Post
    What amazes me about before/after figures for big projects like this is just how far wrong their cost estimates inevitably turn out to be. In this case, it cost over *5 times* the initial estimate....5 TIMES MORE - WTF ? Were they just pulling numbers out of their rectums from the outset or what?
    No. They were pulling money out of all of ours. Initial estimates on government programs are always the maximum amount the sponsor of the projects thinks can be tolerated by the voters and the politicians. Once they are past the initial cost "estimate" hurdle, they continue to jack the estiamte each year. They knew the true estiamte all along - you just wouldn't have accepted it.

    The next "big dig" will intially look reasonable to us at $6 billion. The actual cost will be closer to $40 Billion. I don't know what or where it is yet, I just know the projected cost.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  10. #10
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    Yeah, my home state is currently being sold a bridge - the largest bridge in the world, blowing apart all world records, with lots of room for cars (And none for rail, etc O.O ) to access a large area of forlorn and desolate wetlands for supposedly 'half a billion, from private investors'. Riiiiight.

  11. #11
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Key figures associated with the Big Dig
    Current cost estimate: $14.798 billion

    ......deletia......

    Number of workers killed: 4
    Mass has a population of 6.5 million but this cost 14,700 million??? That's like $2,200 for each person...

    4 people dying? That's bad but 70 years ago, it was quite common for 100's to die building bridges, skyscrapers, and dams.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jimisnowhere's Avatar
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    The Greenway's done, its nice. Building a bike path down it would be nothing more than a glorified sidewalk though, there are maybe 6 or 7 roads that cut across the Greenway, all of which existed under the elevated artery before.The road that runs over the big dig is nice for riding, considering the proximity to downtown and major highways. The skate park has land reserved for it, but its up to itself to get funding. I think its called charlesriverskatepark.org. The cost is stupidly high. I know of people who made thousands a week leaning on shovels 36 hours a weekend. Noone was in control of anything from the highest CEO to the smallest managers, if smoeone felt like doing stuff, he did, if he didn't, the check still cleared.
    I can ride the solarcycle with no hands.

  13. #13
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    Boston still feels like a city surrounded by an interstate. Many bridges don't allow bicycles and from what I heard, there's still gridlock in that tunnel.

  14. #14
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
    Let's see... (Scratches head) ...that would be about $363 million per foot! I sure hope these aren't the folks they expect to run nationalized health care!
    Actually, they're the same guys "rebuilding" Iraq- Bechtel Corporation.

    I know construction personnel who turned down contracts to do Big Dig work because the graft was so rampant, the on-site discipline so poor, and the amount of on-site drinking and drug use so out of control that no matter how much it would have lined their pockets they opted out of it. And I have a friend (and neighbor) who is enjoying the yacht he bought after working 10 years on the dig. Hopefully, someone will have the guts to write a book or a film about the uncontrolled greed it represented.

    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx
    I thought they were planning on a "Greenway" space running over the tunnel--parks, paths, and ped-ways. Is this not happening anymore?
    unfortunately, all that turns out to have been a lot of hype with no guarantees. Most of those plans have been slowly pared down to nothing as the budget inflated. Now most of the space will be leased, sold, or portioned out for more commercial interests to defray costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Source: Massachusetts Turnpike Authority
    Average trip through the center of Boston on the old Central Artery: 19.5 minutes

    Average trip through the center of Boston using the Big Dig: 2.8 minutes.


    Note the source of those figures- The same people responsible for the project! If I had the time to waste I'd grab a video camera some night and hop in my car and drive it to show how ridiculous a claim these times are. Yes, there are times it's quicker to get to the airport but all in all 2.8 minutes! What a joke- Maybe at 3 am on a Sunday night.

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