by Charles A. Monagan
Sep 4, 2012
10:18 AM
On Connecticut

A Short History of Boondoggles


Does learning about a $20 billion plan to run a high-speed Amtrak rail underneath Long Island Sound and into Connecticut on its way to Boston put you in the mood for a good read about boondoggles of all kinds?

It does? Good. Here's my September opener from Connecticut Magazine, covering boondoggles from the pyramids to the New Britain busway, with many stops in between.

And by the way, the Amtrak plan reminds me of one almost-boondoggle that I couldn't fit into my story. Who remembers the the great Long Island Sound bridge-tunnel proposal? It called for a 23.8-mile bridge-and-tunnel system (like the one down in the Chesapeake Bay) that would run from Orient Point on Long Island to Groton Long Point in Connecticut. The idea was first broached by New York in the late 1950s and met solid resistance from the Connecticut side for more than 20 years despite steady drumbeating on the part of NY governors and planners. The idea was finally abandoned in 1979.

Given that we can't build a highway ramp without a 10-year delay, I suspect the Amtrak plan will meet the same fate.

A Short History of Boondoggles

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