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The Big Dig

In: Business and Management

Submitted By shanekelly2
Words 1250
Pages 5
The Big Dig. 4000 Words.

This aim of this report to give an overview of Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel or 'Big-Dig' Infrastructure Project, identify the rationale behind the project, the owner, the stakeholders, project life cycle and timeline. It will also identify the critical management issues and problems that arose through the project, the solutions the project managers and those involved in the project found.
It will also give an assessment of the project performance and its benefits and assess and reflect the critical failure and success factors involved in the implementation of the project.
Information for this investigation into the 'Big Dig' project has been from sought various Journals, publications specific to the project, the World Wide Web, independent reports into the project and other reports delivered by the Project Managers Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff (B/PB) and the project owners Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA) . Before the merger of the previously mentioned companies the MTA was known as the Massachusetts Highway Department
The big dig or CA/T as it became more infamously known as was a magnanimous infrastructural project that took place in the greater Boston area from inception in 1982 to completion in 2007.
This was to be the solution to the escalating traffic problem that plagued motorists in the greater Boston area for the past 50 years. The Central Artchry was originally built in 1959 and was a significant infrastructural project in its day. However as middle class families became more widespread as time evolved so too did the family car and thus the Central Archry was somewhat obsolete with the now 200,000 cars on the same road in the late 1980’s. Traffic jams up to 10 hours long were not uncommon and came at a huge personal and financial loss to families, businesses and the government.
In order to radically reform this congested traffic problem and create a sustainable solution, the best plan that architects, engineers, businessmen and politicians could come up with was the big dig. The aim of the big dig was to:

Replacing the six-lane elevated highway with an eight-to-ten-lane underground expressway directly beneath the existing road, culminating at its northern limit in a 14-lane, two-bridge crossing of the Charles River.
Another aspect was the extension of I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) from its former terminus south of downtown Boston through a tunnel beneath South Boston and Boston Harbour to Logan Airport. The first link in this new connection - the four-lane Ted Williams Tunnel under the harbour was finished in December 1995.
The project also included four major highway interchanges to connect the new roadways with the existing regional highway system. At Logan Airport, a new interchange carries traffic between I-90 and Route 1A as well as onto the airport road system. In South Boston, a mostly underground interchange carries traffic between I-90 and the fast-developing waterfront and convention centre area. At the northern limit of the project, a new interchange connects I-93 north of the Charles River to the Tobin Bridge, Storrow Drive, and the new underground highway.
At the southern end of the underground highway, the interchange between I-90 and I-93 was completely rebuilt on six levels -- two subterranean -- to connect with the underground Central Artery and the Turnpike extension through South Boston. The interchange carries a total of 28 routes, including High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, and channels traffic to and from Logan Airport to the east. A fifth interchange, at Massachusetts Avenue on I-93, has been rebuilt by the project.
The greatest challenge of this project was to construct the large new sophisticated infrastructure without disrupting the residence and business of the greater Boston area. Given the scale, cost and size of this project, the project challenged the team economically environmentally and socially more so than one had expected at the outset
Construction commenced in 1991 on the CAT and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority was the project owners. Given the size and scale of the project, they employed the services of two of the most respected design and constructing firms in the county to execute the project design. Bechtel, Parsons and Brinckerhoff
It was not long before the big dig was getting publicity for all the wrong reasons. In 1985, nearly at completion of the planning stage, the estimated cost of the big dig project was $2.56 billion, by 1992 this had risen to $10.4 and in 2007 when the project was finished the cost had escalated to a staggering $14.8 billion, over a 500% increase from the original estimation.
Having completed all the requisite documentation at the outset such as cost estimations, scope creep, feasibility studies, risk assessments and arrived at the figure of $ 2.56 billion, it significantly increased in the project lifecycle.

Central Artery/Tunnel Project Milestones 1982: | Work begins on Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) | 1985: | Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) filed and approved early the next year. | 1986: | Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff begins work as management consultant. | 1987: | Congress approves funding and scope of Project.
Building acquisition and business relocation process begins (no private homes taken). | 1988: | Final design process under way.
Exploratory archaeology digs begin. | 1989: | Preliminary/final design and environmental review continue. | 1990: | Congress allocates $755 million to project. | 1991: | Federal Highway Administration issues Record of Decision, the construction go-ahead. Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FSEIS/R) approved. Construction contracts begin to be advertised and awarded.
Construction begins on Ted Williams Tunnel and South Boston Haul Road. | 1992: | More than $1 billion in design and construction contracts under way.
Dredging and blasting for the Ted Williams Tunnel ongoing.
Downtown utility relocation to clear path for Central Artery tunnel construction begins.
Archaeologists find 17th and 18th century artifacts at a North End dig. | 1993: | South Boston Haul Road opens.
All 12 tube sections for Ted Williams Tunnel are placed and connected on harbor floor. | 1994: | Charles River Crossing revised design and related FSEIS/R approved.
New set of loop ramps open in Charlestown. | 1995: | Ted Williams Tunnel opens to commercial traffic. | 1996: | Downtown slurry work under way for I-93 tunnels. | 1997: | Overall utility work 80 percent complete. | 1998: | Enter peak construction years.
Construction begins on the Charles River Crossing. | 1999: | Overall construction 50 percent complete.
New Broadway Bridge opens.
Leverett Circle Connector Bridge opens. | 2000: | Nearly 5,000 workers employed on the Big Dig | 2001: | Overall construction 70 percent complete. | 2002: | Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge completed. | 2003: | I-90 Connector from South Boston to Rt. 1A in East Boston opens in January.
I-93 Northbound opens in March.
I-93 Southbound opens in December. | 2004: | Dismantling of the elevated Central Artery (I-93).

Opening of the tunnel from Storrow Drive to Leverett Circle Connector, which provides access to I-93 North and Tobin Bridge. | 2005: | Full opening of I-93 South.

The opening of the completely renovated Dewey Square Tunnel, including new exit and entrance ramps.

Opening of the two cantilevered lanes on Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge.

Opening of permanent ramps and roadways at I-90/I-93 Interchange and in other areas. | 2006: | Reached substantial completion of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project in January.

Spectacle Island Park opens to the public. | 2007: | Restoration of Boston city streets.

Continued construction of the Rose Kennedy Greenway and other parks.

Construction on development parcels will continue after the Central Artery/Tunnel Project is finished. |

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