Federal Task Force on the Boston Central Artery Tunnel Project. Review of Project Oversight and Costs
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Federal Task Force on the Boston Central Artery Tunnel Project. Review of Project Oversight and Costs

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    The Central Artery Tunnel (CA/T) Project in Boston, Massachusetts, is the largest federally funded public works project in recent history, involving the reconstruction of Interstate 93 (I-93--the Central Artery) and the extension of I-90 (the Ted Williams Tunnel). The I-93 reconstruction includes a new eight-lane highway beneath the existing elevated Central Artery through downtown Boston. The I-90 extension involves placement of a four-lane immersed tube tunnel beneath Boston Harbor. The cost to complete the CA/T Project has increased tremendously from the initial estimate of $2.3 billion in 1984. It is not the purpose of this report to explore why the costs increased over the years. However, prior to February 1, 2000, the total CA/T Project cost was reported to be $10.8 billion. A task force estimated that a realistic cost estimate for the CA/T Project is now $13.4-13.6 billion. In response to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority's announcement on February 1, 2000, and the report of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General critical of CA/T Project financing, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater, on February 17, 2000, endorsed a six-part action plan presented by Federal Highway Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle. The plan included establishing a task force to conduct a complete review of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) oversight process. This report presents the work of the task force. As a result of the task force's observations, research, and analysis, 34 recommendations are offered. The recommendations can be summarized by saying that FHWA must move beyond the failed partnership approach, which the state betrayed by its actions, to achieve independent and critical oversight of the CA/T Project.
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