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The Big Dig

Documentary/Video


'Great Projects' on PBS

'The Big Dig' - Since the harnessing of steam, Americans have used ingenuity, strength, and a can-do spirit to tame the wilderness. This is the story of the nation's most ambitious highway project. Information on the companion book is below.

Books


Mega-projects

Read "Mega-projects - The Changing Politics of Urban Public Investment", by Alan A. Altshuler and David E. Luberoff. Co-published with the Lincoln Institute of Land. The book was released in May 2003 and is available through The Brookings Bookstore.



Building The Mass Pike

Check out "Building the Mass Pike (Images of America)". Available in bookstores in the Boston area, with photographs and accompanying text, this book documents the construction of the Massachusetts Turnpike in 1950's. It contains rare images of the impact on the communities through which it passed; and it gives the reader insight into the Massachusetts politics of the day. A compliment to Yanni's earlier book (see below).

The book is written by Yanni Tsipis, a planner and engineer at MIT and lifelong resident of Boston.



Great Projects

In "Great Projects - The Epic Story of the Building of America", from the Taming of the Mississippi to the Invention of the Internet, by James Tobin, the author selects eight creations -- and the driving engineers behind them -- for this study on what it is that drives Americans to so thoroughly remake their country generation after generation. Included in this list is Boston's Big Dig. Other feats include the tremendous accomplishments in dam and waterworks building and the NY's George Washington Bridge.



The Big Dig - Reshaping an American City

Published in August 2001, Peter Vanderwarker's "The Big Dig - Reshaping an American City" is a book on the largest, most complex highway construction project in the history of the United States. This 56-page book leads the reader through the project, its history, its controversy, its magnitude, and its future. Peter, a renowned photographer, illustrates this book with informative maps and graphics. He is also one of the artists in our artists gallery.



The Big Dig at Night

Dan McNichol, in collaboration with photographer Stephen SetteDucati, views the Big Dig after hours. This book gives a different perspective on both the beauty and the hard work of this monumental undertaking. See the light of construction lamps shining on a 300-ton crane, the thrust of the boom into a dark sky. At night, the focus is on the intensity of the crew that starts its workday when most are turning in. Photographer SetteDucati has been drawn to its lights and shadows. McNichol, the author of "The Big Dig" (see below), together with SetteDucati, have created a book which takes us on a nighttime tour of the Big Dig that few have seen.



The Big Dig

Hitting the local Top Ten list within its first week of publication, "The Big Dig" is an inside look at an undertaking that has captured the imagination of the world.

"The Big Dig", by Dan McNichol, is the first book on the largest, most complex highway construction project in the history of the United States. This 240-page book leads the reader through the project, its history, its controversy, its magnitude, and its future. Renowned photographer Andy Ryan's striking images illustrate this journey along with informative maps and graphics, taking the reader from 120 feet under Boston's South Station to the top of the world's largest cable-stayed bridge.



Boston's Central Artery

You might want to check out "Boston's Central Artery (Images of America)". Available now in major bookstores in the Boston area with 200 photographs and accompanying text, this book documents the construction of the original Artery beginning in 1951 and finishing in 1959. It also contains rare, unique images of the neighborhoods destroyed by the original elevated structure, then the construction itself. The ending shows a series of images of Boston just after the completion of the Artery showing how dramatically it impacted some of the city's oldest and architecturally most significant districts.

The book is written by Yanni Tsipis, a planner and engineer at MIT and lifelong resident of Boston.



These books may be purchased on-line at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Other Resources

Innovations and Advancements Program

During peak construction of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, the United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration decided to create an innovations and advancements program to share its lessons learned with the United States and international transportation community. This ongoing technology transfer tool features 12 managerial, operational and technological topics from the Big Dig. To learn more about this program, contact Daniel Wood, P.E., at 518-431-4125

View the pamphlet. (1.37 MB PDF)

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