What do you do when the world’s largest tunneling machine is, essentially, stuck in the mud? Bertha is 60 feet under the earth, and you’re on the surface watching a squirmy public swap rumors of cost and delay on the $1.35 billion tunnel component of an even larger transportation project, and the naysayers are howling: Just you watch, Bertha will be abandoned like an overheated mole, boondoggle to end all boondoggles. Because, don’t forget, when you’re boring the world’s largest tunnel, everything is bigger—not just the machine and the hole and the outsize hopes but the worries too. The cynicism.
Hey, it’s only taxpayer dollars. No harm, no foul, right?