July 18, 2006


Another key connector shut (Adrienne P. Samuels and Stephanie Conduff, July 17, 2006, Boston Globe)

The latest closing, expected to last for at least two weeks, shuts down the westbound I-90/Ted Williams ramp to I-93 in South Boston at Exit 24 and will affect motorists headed westbound from Logan International Airport, East Boston, and Route 1A. The ramp was open until late Saturday, but was ordered closed yesterday after inspectors discovered the suspect bolts.

Motorists will be forced to take Exit 25 and use surface streets. While additional Boston and State Police officers will be directing the traffic detoured onto local roads -- an estimated 3,000 vehicles an hour during peak periods -- the congestion will spill over into many parts of Boston.

``This is going to have a huge impact," said Mariellen Burns, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which runs the Big Dig. ``We're asking for the motoring public's patience. Obviously, safety is the first priority here."

Officials are urging commuters to take public transportation, alternate routes, or seek staggered work hours.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 18, 2006 10:04 AM

Calling Senators Kennedy & Kerry:

Your pet project, originally to cost 2 and a half billion dollars and now has exceeded $15 billion - has demonstrated what happens when liberal socialists and unions team up.

This pet project may now be called the Big Pig!

Posted by: obc at July 18, 2006 10:27 AM

This does have a bit of a paralell with the Miller Elevated Highway, built during the 1930s in New York. Instead of useless-but-deadly concrete ceiling panels, it used more-costly-and-heavier granite paving stones instead of concrete for most of its length, which made riding rough and helped contribute to its partial collapse and eventual demolition in the 1970s.

Posted by: John at July 18, 2006 11:44 AM

The West Side Highway may not have been an example of engineering excellence, but it held up for several decades before the collapse -- and provided a most excellent bike path before it was demolished.

I think the Big Diggers are still following the dictum "Don't kill the job." There's plenty more work to do, contracts to award, patronage to dispense. Tip O'Neill would be proud.

Posted by: Ed Bush at July 18, 2006 12:11 PM

Now if we really did this up in true Socialist style we could have Stalinist show trials of various counter-revolutionary wreckers, engineers, planners, builders, everybody. Followed, of course, by some short walks down a long hallway.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 18, 2006 12:25 PM

The West Side Highway may not have been an example of engineering excellence, but it held up for several decades before the collapse -- and provided a most excellent bike path before it was demolished.

Except for that big hole at 12th Street, though nowadays it would have provided a great venue for those "X-treme bike jumping" events on the ESPN summer X-games. :)

The West Side Highway was a late 20s-early 30s Tammany project, which had similar graft overruns and unneccesary frills as the Boston project. It didn't fall apart in two years, but it was horrificly designed and was obsolete even before Eisenhower created the Interstate system 50 years ago. But nyone wanting a taste of driving the Miller Elevated can still travel the Pulaski Skyway between Newark and Jersey City ... minus the granite roadbed, of course.

(I was shocked reading about its history in the 1970s to find out the thing was only five years older than the East River (FDR) Drive, which was built in the post-Tammany LaGuardia administration and while it's had its problems, remains basically the same as when opened in the late 1930s.)

Posted by: John at July 18, 2006 12:33 PM


The Roadbuilder is a folk enemy.

Posted by: oj at July 18, 2006 12:37 PM

The hole was an impediment that forced me to get off the highway and on again. A minor thing to a cyclist.

Posted by: Ed Bush at July 18, 2006 1:00 PM

I hope that the Massachusetts congressional delegation comes back empty-handed when they plead in Congress for more funds for the repairs. Mass should have to clean up after itself.

Posted by: Thom [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 18, 2006 1:49 PM