The Bechtel-Big Dig Scandal

The Boston Globe presents a damning three-part series on how State officials excuse and protect Bechtel for over $1 billion in mistakes on the Big Dig.

February 21, 2003, 7:00 AM PST

By Chris Steins @urbaninsight


"A yearlong Globe investigation found hundreds of similar errors committed by the Big Dig's management company, which is led by one of the world's largest engineering firms, Bechtel Corp. of San Francisco, and includes another industry titan, Parsons Brinckerhoff of New York. The Globe determined that at least $1.1 billion in construction cost overruns, or two-thirds of the cost growth to date, are tied to Bechtel mistakes... Yet, even as Bechtel's errors helped drive up the Big Dig's cost, the company never paid for any of its mistakes. Instead, it profited. To date, Bechtel has received more than $264 million beyond what its original contracts called for, in part because Bechtel received additional money to fix its errors, records show... What the Globe did find was that Bechtel had no financial incentive to minimize errors, and that its officials routinely advised the state to pay overruns to smooth over problems that were often of Bechtel's own making."

Thanks to Chris Steins

Tuesday, February 11, 2003 in The Boston Globe

Soldier Field

Phase 1 Revealed for $20 Billion Chicago Megaproject

Plans for One Central, a proposed megadevelopment that would add 22.3 million square feet of buildings to the city of Chicago, are taking shape.

October 19, 2021 - Chicago Tribune

A screengrab of the Caharlotte Future virtual open house.

Top Websites for Urban Planning – 2021

Planetizen's annual list of the best of the urban planning Internet.

October 25, 2021 - James Brasuell

An aerial image of the neighborhood of Buckman in Portland, Oregon.

Homeowner Groups Find an Antidote to Zoning Reforms: National Register Historic Districts

Many neighborhoods are moving to create historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places in response to the growing number of states, cities, and neighborhoods loosening single-family residential zones.

October 22, 2021 - Sightline Institute

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.