Two years, $54 million: that’s the cost of a bad paint job

Last week Thursday, Paintsquare published a story about the hefty bill that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors has been left holding thanks to some shoddy paint work on more than 25,000 Boston “Big Dig” tunnel light fixtures.

In short, an investigation from the state of Massachusetts found that there were serious problems with the fixtures’ coatings and the fixture-clip coatings The analysis was performed after an eight-foot long, 110-pound lighting unit came loose and fell into the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Tunnel in early 2011. By a stroke of luck, no one was hurt in the accident. But, according to state Highway Administrator Frank DePaola, the only permanent solution is a full-scale replacement. So the pocketbooks will certainly be aching. As will the traffic. Expected are $54 million in costs and two years of lane closures and delays.

All this because of a poor paint job? Absolutely. And it happens more than you could imagine. In building, unfortunately, mishaps are a fairly common occurrence. But, they absolutely must be minimized. There is certainly too much technology that allows us to better command the projects we manage, better control the work we deliver. If a project can be safer, more cost effective, more efficient, it absolutely must be done.

Thanks for reading.