I-93 Bridge Repairs: On budget, ahead of schedule… and a complete and total anomaly

POSTED BY LIBBY

This past Saturday, out-going Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Jeff Mullan and in-coming DOT Secretary Richard Davey (it is hard to keep track of who is in and who is out given the number of times this position has turned over during the past four years) held a press conference to announce the near-completion of the $98 million “Fast 14” accelerated bridge project on I93.

On-budget, ahead of schedule and innovation were some of the buzz words used by the state transportation officials at the press conference. But ironically, the same day that this success story was reported in the Boston media, regional newspapers were reporting that nearly half of all road and bridge projects in the state were over budget and nearly a third were not completed on-time according to the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR):  

Nearly half of all road and bridge projects in the state are over budget and more than one-third are not completed on time, an investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) has found. The completion delays result in contract extensions that put thousands of extra work days on the state’s construction calendar and millions of dollars in contractors’ pockets.

Over the past four years, change orders and delays on state transportation projects that have already been completed added more than 155,000 work days to the timeline – costing taxpayers an extra $350 million due the cost overruns associated with the delays and changes. As the Lawrence Eagle Tribune Reported:

In the last four fiscal years alone, contractors had 155,008 extra work days added to their construction schedules – equivalent to nearly 425 years – and billed the state more than $352 million in cost overruns on hundreds of road and bridge projects that have been completed throughout Massachusetts, the NECIR investigation found by examining data obtained from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

According to NECIR’s investigative report, transportation projects still underway in the state are expected to add another 43,000 days to the schedule… READ THE REST at CriticalMASS

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