New England has some hard learned lessons for the rest of the country when it comes to infrastructure. Boston is home to the nation’s biggest highway project, the Central Artery/Tunnel Project (a.k.a. “the Big Dig”).
The Big Dig has become synonymous with corruption, cost overruns, delays, shoddy workmanship and waste. It is a model for what not to do when building national infrastructure. High speed rail planners should review it step-by step and formulate a plan that is an exact opposite of the Big Dig.
Why was the Big Dig such a calamity? Many reasons can be singled out, but the primary one is that it’s the way we Americans do business: contract the work to the private sector that seeks maximum profit while giving minimum return.