Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"Big Dig" Disaster 

Boston's "Big Dig" underground highway was a disaster the day it opened in December 2003, being five years late and billions over budget. Now a 12-ton portion of the overhead has collapsed and crushed an automobile, killing a woman passenger and injuring the driver, her husband. I offer my prayers for the dead woman and her family.

The tragedy corrorborated the opinion of an engineer who in March 2005 declared that he could not affirm the safety of the project. At this point, I would not use the tunnel if I were a Boston resident.

Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly has properly declared the site a crime scene and launched an investigation of whether the woman's death was negligent homicide. The project has long been the subject of allegations of fraud and corruption. Last May six men were arrested by federal authorities for falsifying records to hide evidence that substandard concrete was delivered to the project.

From 2800 miles away the project looks to this taxpayer, whose money helped feed the project, as the closest example we have of a black hole. It is also a great example of how overly ambitious politicians can screw things up. On one level, I feel sorry for the people of Boston, and Massachusetts in general, because they have to live with those politicians. At another level, I have to say that people deserve the government they elect.

It's a sad day in Boston, for many reasons.

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