This paper presents initial results from a type of rarely published insider’s case study of a very long runaway information systems project. Because they are usually hidden from public view, these types of projects have not received the academic attention they may deserve. Our results, covering the period from 1990 to 2008, are presented as a series of determinant project events in an approach-avoidance punctuated equilibrium framework. The resulting narrative explains how and why this project went out of control for so long. This paper presents only an intermediate step in the data analysis of an ongoing in-depth case study of a U.S. State e-government project. It is hoped that future analysis will provide evidence of how and why the results presented here may generalize to other cases.