The "Big Dig" is the name of Boston's gigantic and never-ending public works project encompassing the construction of a third harbor tunnel connected to the Massachusetts Turnpike and the transformation of the Central Artery (the skyway section of I-95 running through downtown Boston) into an underground highway. The cost of the Big Dig as of 1991 was supposed to be 5.8 billion dollars. That estimate has gone up several times but the latest jump, a 1.4 billion dollar increase announced last week, is the biggest ever, bringing the total to 12.2 billion.

My New Year's Eve cartoon included a comment on the largest of several new bridges associated with the Big Dig.

As a bonus for my web-based readers, I am reproducing below the cartoon I originally proposed for February 5, followed by some background information. Marjorie Pritchard, my editor at the Globe, was afraid the Jesus reference in this cartoon would offend people, so I came up with the Big Dig haircut cartoon instead.

This is a comment on two similar cases. The Cox case involved the beating in Boston of black plainclothesman Michael Cox seven years ago by fellow officers who mistook him for a suspect. These officers then ran off when they realized their mistake, leaving Cox unconscious in an alley. The statute of limitations ran out on this case last week without any officers coming forward to offer evidence.

The other story was the killing of a black policeman named Cornel Young Jr. by fellow officers in Providence, R.I., on January 28. Young, who was off duty at the time, came out of a restaurant with his gun drawn to help some uniformed officers break up a fight. The uniformed cops ordered him to drop his weapon but Young apparently assumed they were talking to somebody else and did not do so. So he was shot and killed. The shocking thing about this story was that one of the shooters had graduated from the Police Academy in the same class as Young not three years before.

View the January 22, 2000 cartoon.

View other Globe cartoons.

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