The Big Spill
A cool head in a crisis is no guarantee of electoral success -- just ask Mike Dukakis about the Blizzard of '78. But it's more than the face time as a leader in charge that works in Patrick's favor. It's the fact the water line in question was conceived in 1995 during the Bill Weld administration and put into service during Mitt Romney's term. With a construction team that included Parsons Brinkerhoff.
In other words, Big Dig Redux.
The MWRA boasts about the Metrowest Water Supply Tunnel, proudly proclaiming:
Well guess what: the failure of the 2003 Metrowest has caused a serious interruption of Boston's water supply. The saving grace is the ancient City Tunnel and the once-seemingly redundant, now vital Chestnut Hill and Spot Pond reservoirs.
Until now, MWRA has relied on a single 1940's-era surface aqueduct, the Hultman Aqueduct, to serve all of Metro Boston. With its leaks and aging valves, the Hultman needed to be taken off-line for major repairs.
Before the Metrowest Tunnel, failure of the Hultman could have caused nearly complete interruption of Boston's water supply. This would have been a disaster for the region's public health, safety and economy.
Expect a "stem-to-stern" review similar to the one that followed the ceiling collapse in the Central Artery Tunnel. And expect a renewed look at the role of the Weld administration and its administration and finance chief in the cost and quality of those projects. You know, a guy named Charlie Baker.