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Massachusetts Courts Still Faced With 'Big Dig' Suits

Anyone with even a passing familiarity with Boston, construction, graft or incompetence, knows something about the "Big Dig," the infamous tunnel project that took forever, cost about 10 times as much as projected, and didn't really do a great job of addressing the traffic problems that it was designed to alleviate.

You can't have a project like this without lawsuits, of course. There were the disputes between the government and the contractors. There was the suit by the family of the woman killed by a falling chunk of concrete, which led to the closing of a section of the tunnel for a year and a criminal investigation. Now, another wrongful death action has been filed by the family of a State Trooper who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2005. The plaintiff, and several state lawmakers, believe the handrails in the tunnel are dangerously shaped and/or placed. In the wake of the Trooper's death and six other fatal crashes, there are calls to do something about the railings, which have apparently earned the nickname "Ginsu guardrails," a morbid shout-out to everyone's favorite infomercial fare.

Defendants in the new suit include both the state agency that supervises the tunnel and Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the contractor that has already paid the state and the family in the collapse suit. A section of the project was named after legendary Red Sox slugger Ted Williams. I'd suggest that, given the plague of problems affecting the Big Dig, the late Williams might be rolling over in his grave, but, well, you know.

Posted by Eric Lipman on February 23, 2010 at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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