MASSACHUSETTS TURNPIKE, TUNNEL, AND GAS TAX INCREASE PROPOSALS BEING DONE TO COVER UP INEFFICIENCY, WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE OF THE BIG DIG AND FAILURE TO FIX THE ROADS AND BRIDGES FROM THE PREVIOUS GAS TAX INCREASE?
December 8, 2008
Former longtime Turnpike Chair Jack Driscoll wanted to pay off original bonds to make the road free. His financial promise was not carried out by his successors and they issued more bonds and unnneeded debt. Former House Chair of Transportation and now lobbyist Steven Karol stated in a debate measure before the House to stop legislation that would have guaranteed oversight of the Big Dig that the turnpike would not pay for the Big Dig!
During the heyday of the BIG DIG Karol and his cochair counterpart in the Massachusetts Senate Robert Havern battled against or did not listen to calls for accountability and oversight of the Big Dig. The plague of the Big Dig scheme was birthed by former Democratic Michael Dukais and his Transportation guru Fred Salvucci. Subsequent Republican Governors Weld, Cellucci, Swift, and Romaney along with their transportation czars Jim Carlin and Jim Kerasiotis elevated the effort to an art form.
This resulted in needed funds to fix unfit roads and bridges coming in from the Federal Government being diverted to the Big Dig. Their tandam efforts saw the Big Dig go from $2.3 Billion to $23+ Billion with almost not accountability and oversight. Massachusetts now has the most expensive unmonitored privitized construction project monument in history built that resulted in waste, fraud, and abuse, and bad construction.
We were promised that the Big Dig would be funded 90% with federal funds and was not. The last gas tax in 1991 was suppose to fix the roads and bridges needing repairs and did not.
Current Transportation Committee heads Senator Baddour and Representative Joseph Wagner need an education wake up call. First, their Transportation Committee should hire its own non political independent structural and civil engineers and an economist to do its own analysis and determine the real needs and not depend on the special interests to set policy. Also, when will Senator Baddour and Representaive Wagner learn that privatization with no accountability that they have allowed does not work? They have not learned from privatization failures of the Big Dig genius of Bechtel Parson or Modern Continental on Rte. 3.
Massachusetts needs another WARD type commission that came about during the government center scandal to get the real facts, precisely pinpoint blame for current failures to see where the monies went before any toll or gas tax increases. The time is overdue for real accountability and oversight that guarantees no more waste, fraud, and abuse of Federal Highway Monies, Toll and Tunnel Collections, or Gas Taxes.