Has The Big Dig Killed Megaprojects?
The typical megaproject today is in a complicated setting-an existing urban area-that tends to be chock-full of engineering surprises. Design blueprints are rarely fully completed before construction starts, and changes are made on the fly. Neighborhood disruption must be minimized, an expensive exercise known as ''mitigation.'' And to win essential public support, planners end up promising that other, smaller and sometimes unrelated projects will also get done. The process ends up becoming a vicious circle, the authors suggest, in which the efforts to make megaprojects palatable lead to delays and cost overruns, which makes the public even warier than they were to begin with.
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