Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonDotCom. Show BostonDotCom's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    State and federal authorities are prepared to announce, perhaps as soon as today, a settlement of about $450 million with the firms that designed and managed the Big Dig.

    Under terms of the 50-page settlement, Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the consortium that oversaw the Big Dig design and construction, will return $399 million to the state, and a number of smaller companies will pay about $50 million to Massachusetts, the sources said.

    What do you think of this deal? Is Bechtel/Parsons Brinckeroff or the state getting a fair deal?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from red_mama. Show red_mama's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Shameful - this puts new meaning in the term highway robbery.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from trottier. Show trottier's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    OF COURSE NOT, HOW CAN DEVAL AND

    COMPANY, SPLIT A LOUSY AMMOUNT

    LIKE THAT. IS THE MONEY ALREADY

    SPENT?

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from sledhead. Show sledhead's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Corruption at it's finest. Why should this surprise anyone, no checks and balances going on throughout the whole process that the state just kept writing checks which is the worst.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from danthegas. Show danthegas's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    I disagree with the immunity part, especially since the tunnel is still leaking. These guys (Bechtel, Parsons-Brinkerhoff, Modern Continental, etc.) have been around for a long time, and they can generally get away with anything. Although convictions would probably have been hard to get, it would have been nice to see a real effort to bring some of the top executives to justice for the murder of Melena DelValle. The money from the settlement will be gone before we know it, and Parsons et al will be off raking in the dough on some other 20-year government project, such as "rebuilding Iraq".

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from macnh1. Show macnh1's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Remember when you vote next time. It's time to throw all of these MA incumbants out. We deserve better.

    Where is Deval on this??? He has the power to reverse this, slow it or put an end to it. It's a drop in the bucket compared to what it's going to cost us to maintain the Big Sink Hole.

    Allowing such a small settlement is criminal negligence.

    DEVAL PATRICK WAKE UP!!!!!

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from macnh1. Show macnh1's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Bechtel Corporation (Bechtel Group) is the largest engineering company in the United States, ranking as the 9th-largest privately owned company in the U.S. With headquarters in San Francisco, Bechtel had 40,000 employees as of 2006 working on projects in nearly 50 countries with $20.5 billion in revenue.

    Considering the estimated $50 million in annual repairs, the settlement is score for Bechtel and huge defeat for US.

    How about a $1 billion??? The interest would pay for repairs for years.

    I'm outraged....why should we get stuck paying for their mistakes???

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from thebread. Show thebread's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    This is a disgrace...

    The settlement should be somewhere between 15%-20% of the 14+ billion! The interest on 15%-20% might pay for the 50 mil needed annually and any unseen shoddy work yet to be found. If the defects started showing up this soon, imagine what will happen in 5-10 years from now.

    Somebody is greasing sombody's palms. It's obvious..... Same old story and John Q Public will never ever win... Not before my lifetime, not during my lifetime and not after my lifetime or yours for that matter.

    One more instance of Corporate and Government partnership for our fantastic Capitalist System!

    Goverment of the Corporations, for the Corporations and BY THE CORPORATIONS!

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from nautic3727. Show nautic3727's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Two billion is more like it. I won't settle for $450 million. At $15 billion, the Big Dig should be solid gold, which would have been a good investment. Instead the taxpayers get a leaky trainer tunnel.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from tangent. Show tangent's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    On the one hand it is good to get some of our money back, but on the other hand they were overpaid to begin with, with exaclty this sort of thing in mind. I see this as a wash and a scapegoating to avoid political responsibility. This was a massive beautification project for downtown Boston which happens to save some people a few minutes on most days. It definately helps, but did it give us the best return on the investment? Did it really help the economy more than it hurt? And with leaks that will constantly need plugging, in perpetuity, is this going to be sustainable infrastructure? I could see a few bad economic years with a reduction in maintenance causing the whole thing to become more unsafe and perhaps unusable. This is supposed to be a 100 year investment not something that will need to be rebuilt every 20 years.

    Reminds me of the old saying about prostitutes, you don't pay them for the service, but you pay them to go away afterwards. The megacorps exist, like a plague of locusts, to absorb politicians bad decisions and all the cash that comes along with them and then move on... taking the blame with them.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from boston234. Show boston234's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    15 billions dollars for a 2 mile tunnel sounds about right. Only in Mass.

    Do you really blame Bechtel though? How about the cronies running the whole project? The appearance of it right now FINISHED already looks 20 years old. Where are my tax dollars going to maintain this massive tunnel? Mass apparently does not do routine maintenance, they allow projects to crumble. The Big Dig project should have consisted of fixing I-93 North and South too. This tunnel will never work properly as long as I-93 North and South are a mess.

    But what can you do? We are all Massholes for letting this happen. Let this be a lesson.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from airjer. Show airjer's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    One more instance of Corporate and Government partnership for our fantastic Capitalist System!

    Goverment of the Corporations, for the Corporations and BY THE CORPORATIONS!

    This project was pushed through by the late Tip O'Neil and pushed by Senator's Kerry and Kennedy. Our state legislature is 95% democrat any they have all the power in this state. The decison makers were all democrats. Then we had Republican governors in place when this was being built. I'm noit letting them off the hook by no means.

    Its pretty interesting that people always complain that the Republicans are beholden to corporations. But projects like this show us the Democrats are just as beholden to them. The party of the poor, minorities and working class. What a load of crap and people buy it. Republican or Democrat, they are all politicians and they love the power and they love having their palms greased. The only difference is the public front they put on and the D or R after their name.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from hootch. Show hootch's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    This is no surprise. Firms like Bechtel, Parsons, Black & Veatch, etc. OWN OUR GOVERNMENT. They put their selected candidates in office, and can get away with anything. Having worked for one of these firms for 10 years, I have learned at least one thing, and that is firms like Bechtel have more powerful lawyers than our government, and an unmatched ability to obfuscate investigations and get thier money in the end.

    Forget Deval's role, forget using our voting power to make changes- it's hopeless. A potential solution can be found through privatization of construction projects, like the Route 3 upgrade. Put real incentive and drivers behind quality work, timeliness, and budget management and there is at least a chance we won't get fleeced on these types of jobs..........

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from sprint. Show sprint's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    This is a disgrace, highway robbery!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from myron1958. Show myron1958's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Personally I see a pattern here, let's review:

    Two guys with bad hair get paid to put up flashing signs. This causes a hysterical panic amongst the powers that be. The company that paid them pays a 2 million dollar fine and avoids prosecution. The two guys who got paid, got prosecuted.

    A small company gets a 1800.00 dollar contract to supply glue. The glue (used in the wrong application by the big company) fails and the small company gets prosecuted. The big company pays a 400 million fine and does not get prosecuted.

    Any Questions?

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from dbos. Show dbos's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Oh man! You all need to calm the f*** down!

    I need to adress some fallacies pointed out by many of you.

    1. This DOES NOT INCLUDE any penalties for the unfortunate death that occured. Those civil cases are not yet settled... Only one small subcontractor has settled - the vast majority is yet to come for that family.

    2. You all complain about how this wont cover all the maintenance of the tunnels. Its not supposed to!! If the tunnels were pristine and perfect it would STILL cost tens of millions every year to maintain. Any infastructure has maintenance costs and its not the responsibility of the contractors to take care of the thing for free! The penalties pursued were for the added maintenance that wasnt expected.

    3. There is no immunity! Any further failures will be paid for if the time comes.

    Most important, this project broke new ground literally and figuratively. A slurry wall has never ever been used to this magnitude before and to complete the tunnel as they did is truly an accomplishment. I know a lot of people dont know the technical stuff about how they built everything but suffice it to say it is famous the world over as one of the most complicated infastructure projects ever built anywhere. Costs soared and major obstacles were met along the way but what the heck would you expect when you are working on a project unlike any other in human history????

    Mistakes were made and they will be paid for. This is a fair settlement for the water leaks. The rest is yet to come in regards to the death.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from thebread. Show thebread's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    airjer

    I didn't mention political parties in my original reply to the discussion!

    Most politicians are the same regardless of party membership.

    This, again, is a basically paid for amnesty! And on the cheap.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from thebread. Show thebread's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    dbos

    Yes, the biggest project using a slurry wall design to date, but... since you're so up on technical aspects... Did you know that just up the street a bit, below Post Office Square lies a very good sized underground parking garage many levels deep, which was built using a slurry wall design and to my knowledge has not had a leak problem yet.

    When contractors poured RUBBLE and improper concrete/cement into those walls, they doomed the tunnels forever to leaks! Any body can talk all they want about this 'Engineering Wonder of the World', but if you leave a screw or bolt loose here and there and have generally poor construction technique by borderline law breaking contractors... what you have is a failed project.

    The best is yet to come as all the stuffed pockets walk away!

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from dbos. Show dbos's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Did you just compare a parking garage to 6 miles of tunnels? They could have built hundreds of P/O square garages and it would still be less complex than the tunnel system...

    Here's the real reason why PO square is irrelevant: It was built on/in what was always the original "Boston Peninsula". Of course its not leaking like the tunnels - Its built on/in solid bedrook and Firm Clay!

    The tunnels are built in unstable goop within the filled "artificial" land of boston.

    Compounding the difference, they tore down the old garage before digging - Imagine if they dug a hole under a building (sounds impossible but thats exactly what they did during the big dig).

    My whole point in all this is they did something that has never been done before and they had problems. Its to be expected.

    Having said that, I'll reiterate that mistakes WERE made and are being paid for. Do you realize that the largest Big Dig contractor made $150m in profit BEFORE the settlement? They just wasted 15 years and ended up LOSING money. In corporate worlds - that is called punishment!

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from thebread. Show thebread's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Hi,

    It is my understanding that they built that garage from the top down, also known as top down construction. They didn't dig a big hole and then build up. the slurry walls were built as they went down. On bedrorock or clay or whatever they are still susceptible to leaks, but don't leak. And the depth of the garage is deeper than at any point of the main tunnel!! I am not going to consider 'six miles of tunnels' all in the same spot.

    Regardless of all that, yes, it was never done before and problems would have and should have occured. If the contractors had built to spec, which they did not, and didn't try to save cash by dumping trash (rock, debris etc.) into the base of the walls, they would not leak. I've been around long enough and seen and read and heard enough about subpar construction to know what went on. This many flaws should not have appeared so soon. Workers were having two hour lunches in barrooms and so were their bosses, I was there, I witnessed it. Everybody was making good money and nobody cared.

    The bottom line is that a lot of shoddy work took place while managers turned their heads. I don't care if their bottom line is below zero. That what happens in the biz when it is proven that you did a lousy job, penalties!

    Why are you so vehemently defending the Contractors? Are you one of them, or one their their former or current managers. If so, don't discuss with me about the Wonder job. Because I'll tell you what, the people got Jobbed on this one!!!

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from dbos. Show dbos's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    What on earth are you talking about??? Who the hell said I was "vehemently" definding anybody??

    I wrote my post because everything people had been saying on the boards was wrong or exagerated. My post consisted of a list of reasons why the settlement is fair. If I were defending the contractors then I would say its unfair for them to lose hundreds of millions below break-even.

    Dont be so inflamatory just because I'm trying to bring facts to a discussion that had none.

    In both posts I CLEARLY STATED MISTAKES WERE MADE AND SHOULD BE PAID FOR. Dont forget my assessment that the settlement is fair is based on the fact that the civil case re: the death is yet to be dealt with and will likely to result in as much OR MORE penalties!

    PS the depth of the garage is 80 ft. the depth of the MAIN tunnel ranges from 60 ft at the shallowest under state street and 130ft at its deepest. Also, your assesment that it should not leak at all is dead wrong. Even many household basements 8 ft under ground require sump pumps. The tunnels were expected to leak. A lot. Just not nearly as much as they do. I would also bet my life on the fact that there is machinery in your beloved garage that is constantly pumping out water (not because of design failures but because it is supposed to leak).

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from thebread. Show thebread's posts

    Is expected Big Dig settlement fair?

    Construction Engineer and dbos,

    My observastions may not be 100% accurate and yes, I am no engineer. Both of you seem to know all the specs on both the Dig and Post Office Square and I commend both of you for your knowledge on the subject. But I am no Dummy either. I obviously do not have the technical knowledge of you two, but there is one thing I do know. More than mistakes were made. Fraud did occur. You know it and I know it.

    Neither of you disputed the two hour barroom lunches! And I was being conservative at that. Ask any Bartender that worked the area during Relocation of Utilities to Construction to Demolition. If they are truthful, they will tell you they made more money, not becuase of better tips or extra after work business, but because the bars were booming from morning 'til night with the Dig workers.

    Give me a break, you got the tech specs, but, 100 times more water leaking, bad ceilings, Zakim plate problems etc, etc, a death....... One big Bonndoggle, guys.

    Too bad We couldn't discuss it over a nice Cognac!

     
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