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Big Collapse

Saying the ceiling collapse happened in "the oldest" part of a ten-year-old tunnel doesn't fill us with much confidence, Mr. Amorello, so please stop saying that.

Your comments after the photo of the turnpike/Ted Williams Tunnel connector (collapsed ceiling-tile tunnel on the left) - photo via MassGIS OLIVER:

Closed connector

David: Everyone's worst nightmare about the Big Dig tunnels came true last night.

Tory: I think I'll take the subway from now on.

La Osa Cuadrada: And that is why I park at Quincy and take the Red Line in..

Jeff Craven: I think I'll find an alternate route back to the airport later this week.

Blue Crab Boulevard: Gee, it's only 200 feet of three ton panels that might fall at any time:

Boston drivers should treat it as an adventure, right Mr. Amorello?

Rjlippincott: The head of the Mass Turnpike Authority Shouldn't be Fired. ... He should be arrested.

Nikki: I'd love a total project cost and LIFE cost at the end of this ordeal they've put commuters through.

Shelley: Who answers for this? And how do we explain this to the family of a dead woman or her injured spouse?

... Leaks may be expected in an underground tunnel (though probably not to the extent that they've occurred here). Falling hunks of cement, however? I'll be fascinated to hear how the contractors try to weasel their way out of this one. ...

Bitter: Tell the dead woman's husband that the only concern is long term maintenance, not safety.

Chris Cagle: Maybe they should't be spending their energy to convince us the tunnels are safe:

... I think it's hard to overestimate the psychic and political impact of this. More and more you're going to have a hard time finding Bay State citizens who don’t feel that this entire project is a collosal waste of money and a big headache to boot. ...

Mike: I really have no clue how I'm going to get home tonight:

... I might actually try to bail out of here at 3:00 so I don't sit in traffic for hours. ...

Pinkandgreengirl worries about her husband, a frequent flyer who takes that tunnel several times a week:

... I needed one more thing to worry about, right?

Third Decade gives his condolences to the family of the dead woman and says the rest of us are real lucky:

... Given all leaks in the system, the poor concrete, and the cost overruns, we really have no idea what the full magnitude of the situation is. ...

He also recalls that crazy guy who wanted to build a bridge across the harbor instead of a tunnel system.

Lewis reminds us that there are alternate routes - the ones we all used to use 20 years ago:

... I actually had a lot of faith in the Teddy versus the other tunnels. It makes one pretty skittish to drive through the tunnel now. ...

They're even worried in Atlanta. And in the Blue Ridge Mountains, too.

Best Big Dig analogy of the day, plus: More anger.
Why did the slabs give way?
Big Dig afternoon edition: Tragedy, awful commute and Matt Amorello.


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Take the subway? After Michael Chertoff has proclaimed it safe? I'm not filled with confidence. I'll just stay at home, thank you very much.

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I think I'll stick with the MBTA. At least when the T kills an innocent traveller, they don't spend billions of dollars to do so.

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I mean, usually, there's at least a couple hours of sympathy for the person who dies, and the surviving family, before starting to lay blame.

Yes, I realize I'm the pot calling the kettle black, but maybe I'm just feeling kind today.

I feel bad for the woman, and her husband.

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While I feel it's always tradgic to see someone lose their life in an accident and I believe if negligence was involved people should be prosecuted fully; I'm really tired of everyone using the Big Dig as a whipping boy for their frustrations. This was the largest and most complicated engineering project ever undertaken in human history, before the Three Gourges Dam project in China. It attempted to do things that were never done before and broke new ground in multiple technology fronts. Is it perfect?...No. Was there corruption and greed?...Yes. (as in any public or private project this size). But the end result is an engineering and design marvel...and the best part is that IT WORKS! According to independent studies, drive times through Boston have gone from an average of 20 minutes to 5 Minutes and the trip into Logan from MetroWest is now easy and straight forward, relieving the artery of the additional traffic.

As a professional driver with experience in engineering and someone whose driven in Boston through the entire history of the Big Dig, I am impressed at what has been achieved and how they did it. While there have been numerous problems throughout the process (some downright inexcusable), I do not believe they are any more or less common than any other project of this size and scope, but rather, people just want to use it to heap their scorn and general outrage about goverment and life in general. Poor or spotty radio and cell signals?...Whaaaa, get off the phone and drive. Leaks in the tunnel?...It wasn't finished, the above-ground work was not complete and guess what...all tunnels leak. Maybe not that much, but ask any engineer; it's impossible to make a tunnel 100% watertight. Cost overruns and delays? What do you expect when you let the goverment run a project of this magnitude and complexity. Want it done right and on budget. It should have been privatized from the start. It would have cost 30% less and been done in half the time.

In the end, the Big Dig is ours, like it or not. We can't change what's gone on in the past, but learn from it and move on into the future. Let's stop complaining about what wrong with it and move on to fix whatever problems exist and take some pride in the engineering marvel that it is. The big green monster that divided the city is a memory and the greenway is starting to take shape. Once it's done, it will be a jewel of the city that transforms it, just like the Bunker Hill Bridge transformed our skyline.

So all you Big Dig haters and complainer, please give it a rest. All your naysaying does nothing to solve the problems and issues. And quite frankly, I'm tired of hearing it. (Now let me get back to figuring a way around all this traffic and to Logan!!)

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Simple. Today you can either take the Callahan Tunnel, open for forty-five years. Or you could take the MBTA Blue Line to Airport, through a tunnel over one hundred years old. Neither tunnel has ever collapsed onto a traveller. Can't say the same for a 10-year-old engineering marvel.

I won't disagree with you that the Central Artery project is a boon to the city. The Ted Williams Tunnel saves drivers a lot of time and hassle. When it's open and not scaring the bejeezus out of people, that is.

But the project was horribly managed, costs allowed to run out of control, and I'm pretty sure there's at least one person who got the accident call this morning while out on their yacht, most likely named "Misappropriation IV." Each new development reveals to us just exactly how far and wide the corruption ran. Your strawman argument about spotty cell phone coverage doesn't enter into it when the real concern is on public safety.

But hey, let's put on a happy face. Even though components are falling onto cars and smushing people, I'm gonna happily believe it's safe cause the guy on TV told me it was safe, and he looks official enough.

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I'm probably very egotistical for thinking this, but it might be this link to a post of mine to which the limo-driving commenter is speaking.

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Understandable. Looks like he may very well have just gone thru the Big Dig tags to see what folks were saying. Frankly it looked to me like some previously-writ screed, cut and pasted without contextual edits.

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