A Massachusetts state official announced Wednesday that the total cost of the Big Dig, also known as the Central artery/Tunnel Project, is estimated at $24.3 billion, making it the most expensive highway project in U.S. history. We did some of our own digging and made a list of seven things that cost less than the Big Dig. They may surprise you.
7. Hubble Space Telescope, 1990 - Final cost: $4.5-$6 billion
One of the largest space telescopes ever built, the Hubble was as important to astronomy as any telescope could be. After years of delays, the telescope finally went into orbit in April 1990, millions of dollars over budget.
6. The Large Hadron Collider, 2009 - Final cost: $6 billion
The LHC has been called the biggest and most expensive scientific experiment in human history. Still, the cost of the particle collider is only a fraction of the cost of the Big Dig.
5. All of Mark Zuckerberg’s Shares In Facebook, 2012 - Value: $13.7 billion
Mark Zuckerberg owns 443 million shares of Facebook. At the time of this article, Facebook’s stock price is valued at roughly $31, making his shares worth $13.7 billion – nearly $10 billion less than the cost of the Big Dig.
4. Airbus A380, 2007 - Final cost: $15 billion.
The airbus A380 is the largest passenger airline in the world, carrying up to 555 people and one heck of a price tag.
3. Eurotunnel's Channel Tunnel, 1994 - Final cost: $21 billion
The Channel Tunnel ("Chunnel") connects Britain to France and is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. But that came at at price. After going 80 percent over its predicted budget, the Chunnel ended up costing a whopping $21 billion.
2. The entire net worth of Michael Bloomberg, 2012 - Value: $22 billion
In other words, if the cost of the Big Dig were a person, it’d be the 17th wealthiest person in the world.
1. Sending the entire population of Flint, Michigan to the most expensive four-year college in the country, 2012 - Final cost: $24.2 billion
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the most expensive college in the country is Sarah Lawrence College with a price of $59,170 including room and board. With Flint’s population of 102,434 that means the entire town can be sent to the four-year college with still a few million dollars left over.
This program aired on July 12, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.