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The Big Dig Hardcover – November 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A coffee table book on the largest construction project of all time."--Boston Globe

"Rich with full page images by Andy Ryan, a Big Dig staff photographer, McNichol's book is an appreciation of the engineering marvel."--Improper Bostonian

"Embraces the reader with a rich array of facts, politics, and how-it-was done concerning he largest highway construction project in America"--The Patriot Ledger
-- Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Silver Lining; 1 edition (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760723079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760723074
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 10.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #551,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you don't live in or near Boston, you may not know about The Big Dig. It is the 'largest urban construction project in the history of the modern world.' The task is like putting 'the Panama Canal . . . through New York City.' The project is 'bigger in scale than the Panama Canal or Hoover Dam.'
An elevated highway (I 93) through Boston is being replaced by an underground road and the Massachusetts Turnpike is being extended to Logan Airport through a new tunnel. The I 93 crossing of the Charles River is being replaced with a spectacular new bridge that will be the largest cable-stayed bridge in the world.
Like an iceberg, 90 percent of The Big Dig in Boston (the Central Artery/Tunnel Project) is underground. Although all of us Boston drivers have been maneuveuring around the project and admiring the cranes, we don't know much about what is going on. This book takes you to where the action has been, is now, and will be in the next five years.
I found the book to be fascinating and revealing. If you are like me, you will be glad that you finally learned what The Big Dig is all about. The local press reports have been misleading. Some examples include the rat scare (we were going to be driven out of Boston by all the rats that were unearthed), tales about the Ted Williams tunnel probably being vulnerable to being hit by a passing ship and flooding, and disasters underground related to buildings and roads being undermined. Well, so far, so good. Each press tale has turned out to have a smidgeon of truth and a gas balloon full of hyperbole.
I found the story of the difficulties involved in the project and how they were overcome to be fascinating. Advanced construction techniques from around the world are being used in the same project for the very first time.
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By A Customer on April 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I don't love the Big Dig (does anyone?) but I love this book. It actually explains the project that's been holding us hostage for so long.And you don't need an engineering degree to understand it. Now that the bridge is almost finished and we can see what the city's new skyline will be like, people are getting more excited about what's going on. This book, which shows what's been going on for the past 10plus years, shows how we've gotten to where we are. It's worth it just for the pictures. I'll never look at the Big Dig in the same way again.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this book and I was pretty impressed. I am a civil engineering student and of course am interested in projects like the Big Dig. This book is a pretty easy read: the text is big and the sentence structure is simple. However, it is a very informative book and explains the project in terms that anyone could understand. I think it would be hard to read this book without going to Boston and seeing the construction site as the pictures are somewhat hard to follow. Other than that, a good book!
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Format: Hardcover
I've lived in Boston for 3 years, and have been as inconvenienced as the next person by the Big Dig. Even though there are many newspaper articles written about the project, I've never really understood what was going on - until this book. The author has a way of introducing and explaining a very complex subject in a very reader-friendly way - he explains what the project is about, why it was necessary, and what the city will be like after it's finished. I was fascinated by it. I also think the pictures are breathtaking. Who would have thought that what looks like a big mess could actually be attractively and dramatically photographed? I've been on a tour of the project, but still, seeing those underground photos was amazing. This is a really great book for people living here - or driving through it. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall good explanation of the construction technology and processes in different phases of the project. I spent 15 years of my career working in downtown Boston and it was nice to read about the different things going on in areas I was not exposed to. Good read. Great pictures
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Format: Hardcover
The Big Dig is an enormous project -- it's been going on here in Boston for over a decade -- and the more you know about it, the more impressed you become with the accomplishment. It truly will transform one of America's great cities for the next century.
This book is filled with fascinating insight into the engineering, environmental, and political challenges around the project. The writing and selection of subjects is superb: it makes highway construction mesmerizing.
But the images are not nearly as helpful as they could be. For someone not intimately familiar with "slurry walls" and "tunnel jacking", more informative images and a few diagrams would have helped me understand a lot more. Very few of the images enhance the information; most are artistic photos of "sunrise over dumptruck" which, while sometimes beautiful, really don't add that much.
And a few more maps would have helped too -- I continually had to refer back to the city overview in the first chapter to know where they were talking about, and I live in Boston.
Which leads to my final point, which is that I'm not sure how interesting this subject would be for people that are not in Boston itself. For all that the book talks about "the world's" fascination which what we are doing, I'm not sure I really believe it. For Bostonians, this is going to completely change our city, and finally remove a construction and traffic nightmare we've been living for years -- we're excited by what awaits and have all, in a way, been part of it. For other people, I suspect it's just a road project -- and how interesting is a coffee table book about that?
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