Thursday, October 26, 2006
I take the Southeast Expressway when I drive home from work. Tonight there was a lot of traffic, so the drive was slow. Since I've been thinking about the Big Dig, I figured I'd try to take a picture of the highway with my camera phone.
I'm sure most of you have heard about this construction project that has been going on for years and years, which is supposed to improve the highway system in Boston. It is over budget, has cost billions of dollars and caused the needless death of a woman who was with her husband in their car driving to the airport through one of the tunnels.
A few days ago, I read that Panamanians voted to expand the Panama Canal. I started thinking about which construction company would do the work and my immediate gut reaction was I hope that Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff does not do it. Bechtel is the company that worked on and continues to work on the Big Dig.
Their work obviously could have been better. I also just read that this company, who has caused so much misery with this project, still has employees working as consultants and they are still being paid millions upon millions of dollars.
I don't have any experience with construction, but my understanding is that many companies have to bid to win these construction contracts. I think that the ones who bid the least amount are supposed to win the contracts. But it seems that companies like Becthel are so powerfully connected, that they are able to bid low, and beat out other companies who probably would have done a better job for less money.
I'm sure there is some company that put everything they could into a bid for the Big Dig, but who never had a chance. They are probably watching this nightmare continue to unfold and wonder why. I don't know how the bidding process works in Panama, but I hope this new canal expansion contract goes to a safe and worthy company.
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