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The Big Dig

There is a cynicism that hangs over the topic of American infrastructure – whether it’s high-speed rail or off-shore wind – it feels like this country can’t build big things anymore. No one project embodies that cynicism quite like what Bostonians call ‘The Big Dig.’ Infamous for its ever-increasing price tag, this massive highway tunneling effort was once ridiculed as the Big Mess, the Big Hole, the Big Pig, the Big Lie. But now, decades later the story looks more complicated. So how did the narrative around this project go so horribly wrong? And what lessons can it offer for the ambitious projects of today?

The nine episode series is produced by GBH News and hosted by Ian Coss. New episodes come out every Wednesday.

Part 9: Hearts and Minds

The Big Dig

  • 470 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 38:23

It’s been fifty years since the Big Dig was first conceived, thirty years since construction began, more than a dozen years since it was completed – and the final twist is: the project has largely delivered on its promises. How do we reconcile that reality with the scandal and outrage we’ve heard so much about?

Part 8: I Want Justice for What Happened

The Big Dig

  • 520 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 58:29

Just as the project turns the corner towards completion, its entire legacy becomes clouded. The tunnels are leaking, concrete suppliers are being arrested, and everyday drivers are forced to wonder: are these tunnels safe?

Part 7: The Turnpike Revolt

The Big Dig

  • 620 views
  • 7 months ago
  • 58:05

By the year 2000, the Big Dig has passed through many hands, but in its final years a power struggle spills into public view – over who will determine the project’s fate, and who will take responsibility for its mistakes.