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Boston project to be reviewed

BOSTON CENTRAL Artery Tunnel project managers Bechtel and Parsons Brinckerhoff are to face renewed scrutiny by a new review committee appointed to investigate progress on the troubled project.

The committee was appointed by Andrew Natsios, the new boss of the £7.75bn project, who replaced the sacked Jim Kerasiotes as head of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in April. His appointment came after it emerged that the project was £875M over budget with costs set to soar by an extra £875M before completion.

The review of Bechtel's and Parsons Brinckerhoff's programme management skills is part of an overall drive to 'foster credibility in the project in the eyes of the public and the legislature of Massachusetts'.

The two firms, which are also set to deliver major UK programme management contracts for Railtrack, have already been criticised by a US Federal Highway Administration report for insufficiently questioning the escalating costs of the project (NCE 20 April).

Bechtel and Parsons Brinckerhoff said that while they believed effective checks and balances were in place, they would cooperate if changes to their role were recommended to Natsios.

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