Saturday, April 23, 2005

The $14.6 billion hole in the ground

Boy, it's been a couple of weeks since we've had a good Big Dig story. From Fox News - House panel probes Big Dig tunnel leaks:

Turnpike officials have said taxpayers won't be saddled with the cost of fixing leaks in the $14.6 billion Big Dig highway project — but a top federal watchdog isn't so sure.

Kenneth Mead, inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority faces huge hurdles in its effort to force contractors to pick up the tab for the leaks.

"While the authority has said its contractors, and not the taxpayers, will pay to fix all the leaks, we are not entirely confident of this," Mead told the House Government Reform Committee.
The original cost of Boston's Big Dig was estimated at $4 billion. We will never stop paying for this boondoggle. We might as well start saving up for the "Big Dig Collapse Clean-Up Fund."


Richie Rich said...

I think the original cost was even less than $4 billion; I seem to recall a figure of about $1.5 billion when it was first presented. The governement was pretty close - only a 1000% variance...

PSGInfinity said...

...and counting.

Anonymous said...

On September 15th, 2002, White House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsay estimated the high limit on the cost to be 1-2% of GNP, or about $100-$200 billion. Mitch Daniels, Director of the Office of Management and Budget subsequently discounted this estimate as “very, very high” and stated that the costs would be between $50-$60 billion.

The upcoming budget request, which won't be the last, will push the cost as high as $230 billion. As usual, the request will be considered "supplemental" so as not to be included in the official budget.

But there is growing annoyance with the White House for refusing to treat the cost of the military operations in Iraq — roughly $5 billion a month, according to the House Appropriations Committee — as part of the annual budget.

"There is a feeling among a lot of members that ... this war has become enough of a routine that they should be able to build it into their annual budgeting and not have to come back to us for supplemental funding of that size," said Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., head of the House Appropriations panel that oversees spending on foreign operations.

Oh, those cut-tax-and-spend Republicans!