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I have a question for the A2Kers from Boston.

 
 
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 08:08 am
I've been meaning to ask this question for several months, but keep forgetting about it. Since something triggered it this morning, I'll ask now.

But first, a little background: I was watching a rather fascinating show on tv several months back. I believe the name of the show was "The Big Dig" It dealt with the history of Boston and how in the fifties a major freeway pretty much cut the city in half. Then (obviously you Bostonians are quite aware of this story, but for those who aren't, please, hear me out) in the seventies (or earlier?) a plan began to germinate about moving the road underground. Fascinating stuff, really, watching all the political wranglings that went on to get the ok to start the project. Seems to me Dukakis was the driving force behind the project and that some Italian engineer was the "brains". And I have to take my hat off to that Italian dude -- that was an unbelievable undertaking.

At the time of the show, the underground project was nearly completed.

So, my question is.... how's that project coming along. Cars underground yet?

And feel free to entertain us with the horrors of living in the midst of such a gargantuan project.
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Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 01:16 pm
Yes. It's done and only a couple of quadtrillon over budget AND it looks just like the Lincoln Tunnel except that it never goes under water just under buildings.

Actually, I'm in New York so I only know what I read in the Globe.

J
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Joe Nation
 
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Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 01:22 pm
oops, the TED WILLIAMS tunnel does go under water.

Here's the biggest site I've ever seen about a hole.


er, hole in the ground.

J

The Big Dig, maps and everything!!!
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
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Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 01:23 pm
Gus, you see, I'm from Boston, which means one thing: I'm always drunk.

So when things happen like "new highways," and "Democratic Conventions," and "World Series," I usually just hear about them in the paper too.

But it actually saves a lot of driving time(the new tunnel). And I rarely ever drive in the city during rush hour. The highways do get to be a mess here.
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ebrown p
 
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Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 01:30 pm
I also live in Boston and have to get on Rte 93 from time to time. On the whole things seem faster.

But the frustrating thing is that every time I venture to where Storrow Drive (our major road along the river) meets Rte 93, things are completely different. Traffic patterns completely shift and exits move from side to side. Well, first they kept moving the exit ramp around. Now there is an opening to the underground highway.

The last time I tried to get to the airport, I had to follow detour signs which suddenly dissappeared leaving me stranded in downtown traffic.

I wish they would finish it already,
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
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Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 01:49 pm
One night I was following detour signs and ended up facing traffic the wrong way...I drove up an exit off Rt 93.

I wasn't drunk that time.
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Montana
 
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Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 01:52 pm
They were still working on it when I left. Is it not finished yet?
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Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 02:24 pm
Years ago, I went to school in the Boston's Back Bay.. (yes, there were still whaling ships in the harbor Twisted Evil ) three friends and I were walking over to the North End. The streets in that section of Boston were laid out before Paul Revere was a baby. They are narrow, seemingly nameless and one-way. A cabbie stopped up as we reached a corner.
Could we tell him how to get to that restaurant up there?
"Wha?"
"I need to take these folks to that restaurant but I can't find the way."

Yes, one could see the restaurant's lights dimly in the distance but the street was going the wrong way.

Tony said "No problem. Turn the cab in backwards. We'll go stop traffic."

Which we did. The cab backed up the block and a half, dropped off his fares and handed us four fives, an absolute fortune to four theatre students. We trotted off to the Rose Cafe and stuffed ourselves full of tea and muffins.

Joe
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Montana
 
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Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 03:03 pm
LOL Joe. I like that :-D
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gustavratzenhofer
 
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Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 06:14 pm
Thanks for the feedback, Joe, ebrown, and Slapster.

And thanks for the link, Joe. I've been checking around the site and will do more reading when I have the time. The archaeology section was quite interesting. Some of the stuff they've been pulling out of there would look mighty fine in my china cupboard.
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littlek
 
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Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 08:54 pm
Yep, it's still not done. We get a new set of streets with the usual bad signage every couple weeks, it seems. I got stranded in downtown boston while on my way to the airport because they closed one part of the new tunnel system (an extension of the Mass Pike - see slappy, I do know where it is). Oops, detour! I was on my way to pick someone up and I was already running a couple minutes late....
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Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 09:04 pm
<<bragging>>

i've worked on drawings for what we in the engineering biz call "The Central Artery Project".

the work was divvied up, every firm in the area getting a slice or 2 (the larger firms getting proportionally larger slices, and extra napkins bcos it was messier...)

every project has problems -- extras or change orders that come about due to faulty design or faulty construction.

the number of problems that've occurred with the big dig are normal, considering the immensity of it.
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littlek
 
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Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 09:10 pm
Mmmmm, so, the most recent problems that I've heard about are the leaks.

From 11/10's Houston Chronicle:

Quote:
The Big Dig highway project in downtown Boston is riddled with leaks dumping millions of gallons of water into the $14.6 billion tunnel system, according to an engineer hired to investigate the cause of a massive leak in September.

Fixing the hundreds of leaks could take up to 10 years..........

.........The engineers also said they found documents showing that managers of Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the private consortium that managed the project, were aware that the wall breached this fall was faulty when it was built in the late 1990s, but did not order it replaced and did not notify state officials......
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 09:21 pm
Hilarious that the Houston paper is covering a Boston story about flooding and construction - we've got our own nightmares here they could be covering!
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littlek
 
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Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 09:24 pm
Of course!
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gustavratzenhofer
 
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Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 09:27 pm
What are your current nightmares, mac?
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gustavratzenhofer
 
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Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 09:28 pm
And does anyone know that mac escaped from the word games and is consorting with the ner-do-wells?
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 09:31 pm
The newest toll road is a couple of years and god knows how many millions of dollars behind schedule. The contractor was fired last week, but is suing the city.

We have hundred-year floods so often that they should really change the terminology.
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 09:32 pm
Laughing ...believe me, I prefer the company of ne'er-do-wells...
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gustavratzenhofer
 
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Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 09:34 pm
We're glad to have you, mac. You bring sunshine to our fog-filled existences.
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