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July 17, 2006

Big Dig Tunnel Repairs Could Take Months

Terrific. The city was a mess for ten years as they built them, now they're shut down for "months" as they repair them.

I confess that I was a lukewarm supporter of the Big Dig. I had problems with the plan, of course. I was annoyed at the huge amounts of money spent on the project. And the unhinged liberalism that decreed that, despite the fact that demolishing the huge ugly overpasses would free up acres and acres of prime real estate for development, this land would simply be made into parks, instead of being sold off for huge money to defray the Big Dig's costs.

But I supported it, because one of the few things I think the government should be doing is building and improving roads and bridges and the like. Few bridges are built in America anymore. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century bridges and other big civil engineering projects were going up like crazy. Now-- not so much. Perhaps it's that we don't need further big infrastructure projects, or perhaps... America just doesn't do big things anymore.

It was the last part that made me support the Big Dig. The idea that we just didn't do big things anymore. Well, the Big Dig was big. So we could do this sort of thing, if we wanted. And I just loved the idea of construction on such a grand scale, overcoming so many difficult engineering problems. I've watched the documentaries about this on the Discovery and History Channels so much I can pretty much quote them. I feel at this point I could pretty much direct the construction of a refrigeration-hardened slurry wall, if it was required of me.

But now, it seems, we can't do these big projects anymore. Our idiotic and corrupt bureaucracy will just piss money away on shoddy workmanship.

So the Big Dig was a test for American government. An important test. A test American government failed.

So now we know.

Liberalism supports massive public works projects like this. You would think, then, that liberals would be determined and laser-focused on bringing these things off without massively overspending and, dare to dream, without massive systemic flaws.

Not so much, it turns out. They want lots of money for urban improvements, but don't give a rat's ass how it's spent or even if it actually improves anything.

You guys had a big chance here to prove that a big chunk of liberalism could work. You blew it.


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posted by Ace at 02:45 PM

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