Thursday, May 04, 2006

Probe into "Big Pig" leads to 6 arrests

When I went out to Boston to visit my sister back in December, I got an earfull from the locals about the Big Dig, dubbed "big pig" by Bostonians because the costs of the dig that buried Interstate 93 in tunnels beneath downtown and connected the Massachusetts Turnpike to Logan Airport with a third tunnel beneath Boston Harbor have ballooned from $2.6 billion to nearly $15 billion. Construction on the dig started back in 1991, only just fully opened earlier this year, and has had a gazillion problems, shutdowns, leaks, and flooding.

I can't think of a better example of exactly what's wrong with government projects... Things cost more than they should, despite huge costs corners still get cut wherever possible, the time frame to get things done goes from weeks and months to years and years, and things just generally don't go smoothly at all.

BOSTON - Six men who worked for the Big Dig's largest concrete supplier were arrested Thursday on federal charges alleging they falsified records to hide the poor quality of concrete delivered to the massive highway project.

The six, all current or former employees of Aggregate Industries, face a variety of charges including making false statements, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit highway fraud, said FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz.

"My understanding is what they did was mix, commingled leftover concrete with new concrete," she said. The actions allegedly took place from 1999 to 2003.

Well no wonder the damn thing leaks like a friggin' sieve. Hopefully they find all possible sources of incompetence involved here, including (and perhaps most importantly) those in the government.