Boston's $14.8B 'Big Dig' All Dug

Costliest highway project in US history finally complete
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2007 3:00 AM CST
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, seen on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007, sits where the elevated Central Artery once snaked through downtown Boston. The Greenway, the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Tunnell, and the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The most complicated and expensive highway project in American history is finally complete, AP reports. After 16 years of excavating and building, the ambitious "Big Dig" tunnel project under Boston will be turned over to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority January 1. The final price tag was $14.8 billion—$12 billion over the first estimate in 1982.

The project's history is a story of scandal, delay, epic traffic jams, five fatalities and monstrous cost overruns, as well as amazing engineering feats. They've had a long wait, but the people of Boston, both drivers and pedestrians, give a big thumbs-up to the project that has transformed downtown Boston and slashed cross-city travel time.