TITLE: Things Which Enrage Me, Vol. 3,427
DATE: 11/12/2004 07:50:00 AM
Big Dig found riddled with leaks
Engineers say fixes could take decade
By Sean P. Murphy and Raphael Lewis, Boston Globe
November 10, 2004
Engineers hired to investigate the cause of September's massive Big Dig tunnel leak have discovered that the project is riddled with hundreds of leaks that are pouring millions of gallons of water into the $14.6 billion tunnel system.
While none of the leaks is as large as the fissure that snarled traffic for miles on Interstate 93 northbound in September, the breaches appear to permeate the subterranean road system, calling into question the quality of construction and managerial oversight provided by Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff on the massive highway project.
Finding and fixing all the leaks will take years, perhaps more than a decade, said Jack K. Lemley, an internationally known consultant hired by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to investigate the problem. Just repairing the section of wall where the September leak occurred will take up to two months and require closing of traffic lanes.
The engineers also said they have discovered documents showing that Bechtel managers were aware that the wall breached this fall was deficient from the moment it was built in the late 1990s, yet did not order it replaced and did not inform state officials of the situation.
As a result, retired judge Edward M. Ginsburg, who leads the state's independent legal team seeking to recover compensation for shoddy construction and negligent management of the project, is now in discussions with Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly's office as they consider a lawsuit targeting Bechtel and the contractor that built the wall section that leaked in September, Modern Continental.
Oh, well. Jesus is probably just punishing us for being a liberal state.