< .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Wrong target

Looks like Mitt Romney got the wrong scalp.

As our (former) governor takes up his travels again after having tamed the Big Dig Monster, new evidence has surfaced that the Mittser got the wrong man.

There's no dispute in this corner that Matt Amorello had to go. Bizarre (although potentially easily explainable) things like security cameras just point out how big a distraction he had become.

But this nice piece of investigative work points out yet again how Matt was Mitt's straw man.

The decision not to re test the epoxy bolts is one of several critical choices over a 14-year period in which Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff -- a joint venture of engineering and construction management firms that the state picked to supervise the $14.6 billion Big Dig -- played a lead role in reducing the tunnel ceiling's safety margin. An investigation by the Boston Globe found that Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff discouraged a proposal from designers to suspend the tunnel ceiling from a different kind of bolt they believed would be more reliable than epoxy. The Big Dig managers also turned down a pitch from the company that built the tunnel, Modern Continental Construction Co., to use lighter ceiling materials than concrete.

A review of correspondence between the companies involved in the ceiling project, as well as 1,800 pages of engineers' daily notes from 1999 and 2000, shows that Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff allowed ceiling construction to proceed during the three months that managers debated what to do about the unexpected loose bolts. By the time they came up with a plan, in January 2000, workers had already hung concrete ceiling panels in the east and westbound lanes of the connector, making retesting of the bolts much more expensive and time consuming.

The year was 1999. Jim Kerasiotes was still in charge of the project, the Weld appointee kept on by then-Gov. Paul Cellucci. Amorello was still licking his wounds after looking losing to Jim McGovern for the Third District congressional seat.

Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the well-connected management company designed to oversee the project opted to save money rather than push for safety. Under the oversight of Kerasiotes. And Cellucci.

What say you Mitt? Ready to keep the heat on and find the culprits? Or are you too busy kissing Trent Lott's backside while busting Michael Dukakis?


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home