The Big Dig

Megastructures

Surprisingly not overstating things.

When you watch a programme called “Megastructures” you may think that it comes from the same stable as “When Buildings Collapse” (as seen in The Simpsons). However, this documentary proved to be a quite fascinating insight into one of the largest engineering feats of the last 100 years. In September 2000 I was lucky enough to spend 3 nights in the historic American city of Boston, it was a marvellously enlightening experience that introduced me an amazing city. Plenty of history, lots of great people and all very welcoming. However, overshadowing my visit was a construction project on a huge scale, The Big Dig, which was halfway through its 10-year (!) plan.

Included in this plan was a series of projects to replace a 6-lane flyover with a 10 lane expressway built directly underneath, to build a 14 lane double bridge across the harbour, and extend the Massachussets Turnpike through another tunnel south towards the airport. In the last 6 years since I visited the city has clearly developed in leaps and bounds and I remember, as I flew from Logan Airport, promising myself that I would go back one day to see it when its finished. This was a reminder that it may be a very appropriate time to think about returning.

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