Big Dig: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

TollRoads News reviews the "terminally inept Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff joint venture at the Massachusetts Turnpike's Big Dig project", and examines how the project is improving mobility -- estimated to be worth $168 million per year.

"Dec 31 2007 marks the end of the terminally inept Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff project management joint venture at the Massachusetts Turnpike's Big Dig project. How such stellar companies could mismanage construction so totally is difficult to explain except in terms of the Turnpike's perverse structuring of the incentives - the send-us-the-bills-whatever deal which meant that the more B/PB screwed up the more they earned."

... "The project was soundly conceived and is delivering substantial transportation benefits. That's because Fred Salvucci's concept of replacing the old elevated with a higher capacity underground facility was excellent. Not only does the new facility have more travel lanes - 8 or 10 vs 6 previously - but it applies modern traffic engineering principles to minimize turbulence from the merges and the diverges of the expressway... The motorist benefits of all this have been studied and quantified, and they are huge."

Full Story: Bechtel/PB JV finished at Big Dig - bad news, good news



Motorist Benefits

"The motorist benefits of all this have been studied and quantified, and they are huge."

Isn't it wonderful to do a study that only calculates "motorist benefits." No need to worry about the costs of induced sprawl, the environmental costs, etc. No need to weigh costs against benefits.

It is like being back in the 1950s, when they were so naive that they just looked at the "motorist benefits" of adding extra freeway lanes.

Charles Siegel

Multiple Benefits

As Mr. Siegel knows full well the ancillary economic benefits of roads projects are no longer allowed in the evaluation of Federal ranking of roads projects.

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