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What happens when you use inferior concrete

OK, so six executives at the Big Dig's largest concrete supplier were arrested for passing off old, cruddy concrete as fresh stuff. Not to worry, U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan assures us - there's no evidence the tunnels are about to collapse.

John Daley, however, has been around long enough to remember the McKee Berger Mansueto scandal, in which the state let a contractor use, ta da, substandard concrete during the construction of UMass-Boston (a couple of state senators actually served time for their role in the scandal):

... [I]f you want to see the effects of sub par concrete and what those shiny new Big Dig tunnels might look like in a few years, take a ride through the parking garage at U-Mass in Dorchester. It ain't pretty. ...

Or as Mass Media, the UMass paper, wrote recently:

... Aside from the off chance of being chased by threatening individuals, the most disturbing thing about walking through the garages are the danger of being flattened by large boulders of falling concrete. The nets that hang overhead (presumably to catch the plummeting rock) provide little reassurance. ...

Think about that the next time you drive through the tunnels.

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