U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Task Force Report on Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel Project Recommends Strengthened Oversight, More Fiscal Responsibility
U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today accepted a report by the Federal Task Force for the Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) Project that included strong recommendations to strengthen federal oversight of the Boston project and require fiscal responsibility from the CA/T project leadership.
"The Task Force did what I asked and fulfilled its mission. I have accepted their recommendations which will help improve fiscal accountability, advance the project toward successful completion, and lead to a sound financial investment," Secretary Slater said. "Implementing these recommendations is necessary to restore integrity and public confidence in this important public works project."
In its report, the Task Force faulted Massachusetts for breaching its trust with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and others by "intentionally withholding knowledge of the Project's potential cost overrun." It also faulted FHWA for failing to maintain a sufficiently independent relationship with CA/T Project leadership to adequately fulfill its oversight role.
The Task Force Report summarized its 34 recommendations by stating that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) "must move beyond the failed 'partnership' approach, which the state betrayed by its actions, in order to achieve independent and critical oversight of the CA/T Project."
The Task Force Report briefly discusses the financial plan submitted to FHWA by Massachusetts on March 15. FHWA is in the process of completing an analysis of that financial plan. The final analysis is expected shortly.
The multi-disciplinary Task Force was appointed in late February to analyze the oversight process for the CA/T Project, review the structure of the FHWA Massachusetts Division Office, determine the effectiveness of financial documents and recommend changes to FHWA policy or procedures.
The task force report noted that the CA/T Project could cost an additional $300 to $480 million, bringing the cost overrun to $1.7-$1.9 billion and the total estimated cost of the project to $13.4-$13.6 billion. Key recommendations of a total of 34 are attached. The report is on the Internet at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/tunnel.htm.
CENTRAL ARTERY/TUNNEL PROJECT
PARTIAL LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS