In June, IREI held its annual i3 conference and Editorial Advisory Board meeting for the i3 publication, and this year the events were in Boston, home to one of the country’s largest, most expensive and controversial public works — the Big Dig. The transportation project along the Boston waterfront consisted of roads and tunnels and was completed in 2007, and despite many serious setbacks, with hindsight it’s earning respect. As the Boston Globe put it in December, “Here we are, 10 years after the official completion in 2006. How are we feeling now? Maybe there’s room for some grudging appreciation.”
That could be said of many megaprojects through the years. Despite the challenges, they ultimately benefit people and organizations, most of whom rarely consider what it cost to build or the time it took and the errors made. They are just glad it’s there to use.
The Big Dig is a good analogy for the state of infrastructure globally — ther