Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Is the Big Dig Fatality Related to Corruption?

Here in Massachusetts, the failure of the massive road project in central Boston known as the Big Dig has been front-page news for about a week. A recently-married motorist was killed when a tunnel ceiling collapsed on her car; her husband managed to crawl out a window and escape.

To his credit, Republican Governor Mitt Romney cut short an out-of-town trip, stepped in, assumed (long-overdue) control over the project, and began immediate inspections--inspections that revealed thousands of glaring safety errors in many parts of the project.

Throughout its decades-long construction, the Big Dig has been plagued by cost overruns, corruption, allegations that inferior materials were used, and other problems. And almost as soon as the tunnels under Boston Harbor were opened (not that long ago), they began to leak. We already knew it was a boondoggle. Now it seems that both the design and engineering were deeply flawed and the largest/most expensive single road project in US history has been a failure.

One has to question whether proper government oversight, complete with thorough inspections at every step of the way, would have shown the shoddy materials and flawed engineering without someone having to die.

Meanwhile, here's another example that corruption has human costs.


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