Imagine if Boston ditched the Big Dig half-way through. Imagine if the San Francisco to Oakland Bay Bridge stopped at Yerba Buena Island. Imagine if the Transcontinental Railroad track extended only from Nevada to Wyoming. For California High Speed Rail, Newbie Governor Gavin Newsom seems to be picking the worst route of all – the one that will make everybody unhappy and will ensure that the high-speed rail that is built is a catastrophic failure. It will have his name on it – and probably not in a good way. Newsom’s reasoning? The ballooning cost estimates on the one hand vs. the prospect of having to return $3.5 billion in federal funding if the project is canceled altogether, on the other hand. As a result, he has made the classically worst decision of all: half do it.
Not many projects looked worse than Boston’s Big Dig for cost overruns and other disasters. But now, 15 years after completion, even the Big Dig looks golden. It was a catalyst for billions of dollars of construction, attracting major corporate headquarters, making the city more livable, and greatly improved traffic flow. Click on image for article in Curbed SF.