The Big Crumble (part IV)

| July 23, 2006

UPDATED 07/24/06: Andrew Cline, editorial page editor for the New Hampshire Union Leader, proposes renaming the Big Dig after Melina Del Valle, the woman killed when a portion of the ceiling collapsed.

ORIGINAL: The eastbound lanes of the Ted Williams Tunnel that were closed a few days ago have now been re-opened, but only for bus traffic. I guess the logic is that a bus is more likely than a car to survive a 3-ton cement panel crashing down from above.

In the meantime, it appears from a Boston Globe poll that residents of Massachusetts are inclined to blame the various contractors for Big Dig Crumble problems and are inclined to approve of Gov. Romney’s handling of the current crisis. Here are some specific findings from the detailed poll results (conducted July 14-19, 2006, under the direction of Andrew E. Smith, PhD, The Survey Center, UNH):

  • 68% of those surveyed feel the Big Dig tunnels are either “not very safe” or “not safe at all” — and over half of those who actually use the Big Dig feel that way as well.
  • 44% felt that the Big Dig was “not worth building” while only 46% this it was. Again, these values didn’t shift that much when asked only of those who actually use the Big Dig tunnels.
  • On handling the Big Dig, Gov. Romney has a 50%/38% approval/disapproval rating, Mass. Att’y General Reilly has a 37%/31% a/d rating, and MTA Chairman Amorello has a 14%/63% a/d rating (ouch!).
  • On who’s most to blame for the Big Dig collapse, 50% blame the contractors, 15% blame Amorello (the highest for any given individual), and only 2% blame Romney.

So much for the “Romney’s Katrina” theory pushed by Adam Reilly at the Boston Phoenix. Note that only 131 of the 544 respondents identified themselves as Republican (vs. 265 Democrats and 115 independents), so it’s not as though the respondents are going to be naturally inclined to support Romney.
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Category: Main, Project Management, The Big Crumble

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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