Winner 2023

The Big Dig

GBH-News and PRX

Local infrastructure projects usually don’t make national news, but “the Big Dig” was a notorious exception. Originating in the 1970s, the ambitious plan to bury an above-ground highway cutting through the heart of Boston, and to link that tunnel to another one stretching under the city harbor to Logan Airport, became known far and wide for dramatic cost overruns, repeated delays, and construction failures that resulted in a fatal car accident. Yet in this compelling nine-episode podcast, Boston native Ian Coss revisits the “boondoggle” storyline and comes away with instructive new conclusions. Interviewing scores of actors involved in the three-decade saga—from local and national officials to activists, journalists, and engineers—Coss weaves a narrative of infighting and setbacks, but also of idealism and persistence that ultimately led to the completion of an urban planning marvel that has made today’s Boston a dramatically more livable city than it might otherwise have been. For cutting through the cynicism that surrounded this infamous experiment, and exposing forces that will remain in play as we fight over contemporary attempts to rethink the infrastructure of tomorrow, The Big Dig wins a Peabody Award.


Creator: Ian Coss. Executive Producer: Devin Maverick Robins. Writer: Ian Coss. Editor: Lacy Roberts, Stephanie Leydon. Talent or Reporter/Correspondent: Ian Coss. Design and Technical Staff: Mei Lei, Lisa Wardle, Elena Eberwein, Sam Dieringer, Jeb Sharp. Sound/Music: Ian Coss.