Almost a decade after the Big Dig’s completion, the toxic legacy of the bloated highway project still haunts the state. Debt from Central Artery-related projects gnaws away at the MBTA’s budget, forcing fare hikes and service cuts; residual public distrust over the mishandling of the project undercuts efforts to build political support for roads and bridges.
It is time, though, to move on. The state is making progress at reform. A 2009 law consolidated the transportation agencies, and the organizational culture is changing. In one of the most visible signs of change, the Turnpike is even phasing out costly toll collectors in favor of open-road tolling. There is always room to improve, and the state should never stop seeking savings, but the administration and MassDOT secretary Richard Davey are taking meaningful steps to restore public confidence.