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Old 07-07-2018, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,671 posts, read 9,420,097 times
Reputation: 14919

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Quote:
Originally Posted by damba View Post
As a whole, we tend to like things cheap and fast.
Except for sex.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Boston
5,097 posts, read 1,453,831 times
Reputation: 3733
a local problem unless they are interstate highways. Just raise state and local taxes and buy yourselves nice roads.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:30 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
15,664 posts, read 18,206,684 times
Reputation: 11163
I am waiting for Mr. Trump to get that infrastructure bill passed.

Then we'll see what happens.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:54 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,191 posts, read 50,480,930 times
Reputation: 60076
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
This is not true. What towns in NJ are emptying out and decaying? For God's sake, we have nine million people in the state, the highest population density in the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Err... Camden?
Population has declined 3.3% since 2010 according to the US Census Bureau. An astounding 38.4% poverty rate.

Atlantic City is down 2.9%. 36.6% poverty rate.

Newark is up 2.9%, Passaic is up 2.1%, Paterson up 1.7%. They're all around 30% poverty rate.

Those are the 5 highest poverty rate cities in New Jersey. I think it's fair to say that the South Jersey ones are emptying out and decaying. Philly isn't the NYC economic engine. New Jersey still has a large number of high poverty rate cities.

.
OK, but that's different. You said "NJ towns are emptying out", not the rundown, impoverished cities. They are like two different worlds. The suburban towns are growing relentlessly.

Just so you know, I'm almost 60 and a lifelong Jersey resident, so I do know Paterson/Newark/Camden/AC, etc.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:00 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,191 posts, read 50,480,930 times
Reputation: 60076
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkin View Post
As a local engineer and former State engineer, I'll list the top 3 things that cause massive delays and high costs.

1) NEPA process: All federal projects and some State projects must follow the NEPA process. The process adds 1-2 years of design and bureaucracy on a project. NEPA compliance probably cost 10% of a completed construction project. Once you add in 4f (common use land recreation) and 6f (recreational waters) processes, add 6 months to a year on top of the 1-2 year process.

2) Other laws and regulations: Laws like Davis-Bacon and eminent domain (court) costs add millions to a project. The last residents to hold out get the biggest checks. Army core of Engineers often claim navigable waterways and add significant cost and time to projects due to access and preservation, plus any wetlands created by previous projects (roadway ditches/ponds/pipe outfalls) will require NEPA process.
There are countless more FHWA/State/Local regulation since every entity have a huge standards manual to follow. There is already an AASHTO green book for standards, yet everybody needs to be special and add 50% more standards on top. It's always more expensive and less reliable when you "over engineer".

3) Monopolies and duopolies: Vast majority of the time, projects are bid by a half dozen prime contractors, but there are often few sub contractor choices. So the cost remains high even if there are half dozen bidders due to steady costs of the subs. Then some places only have 1~3 contractors that does concrete and asphalt. Records have shown asphalt unit prices compared to only 1 bidder in the area will drop 40% if there is a 2nd bidder and 50% with 3 bidders. Incompetent contractors do get debarred if they screw up pretty badly. 95% of the time, the spineless government entity just pays contractors to fix the problems twice. A co-worker recently told me about a project. The project needed additional storm water pipe and they added 8-10 feet of pipe plus a manhole, the contractor filed a claim for 360k using time and materials records. It was recommended to paid them unit price totaling $3000. The upper management "settled" for 180k. I've seen a project where the contractor filed a claim for 80k because they had to get additional cut/fill sites. How the contractor dispose of materials is included in the bid price and there should be no additional payment. Management settled for 35k. I have never seen upper management stand firm and not pay a claim. Contractors play this claim-game, especially when they have enough political contributions to influence governor, secretary, upper manager levels.

Bonus 4) Some project delays and added costs are due to bureaucracy and politics. Politicians do ask/demand changes and most of the time they get what they want or some kind of comparable workaround. Internal bureaucracy is both poor decision making and people that won't make decisions and take responsibility. This usually cost a lot of time. Politicians demands can cost money but they're pretty small scale on the state/local level. This section really adds more headaches than time or money because politicians want to have successful projects.
All the time. I've worked in the transportation engineering industry all my life ('though I am not an engineer) and this is exactly what happens. Politicians will demand changes or unrealistic time frames to get a project done in order to boost their image for election purposes, and the public swallows it every time.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:05 PM
 
1,461 posts, read 330,127 times
Reputation: 1663
Quote:
Originally Posted by damba View Post
This surprises you(?)

Of course americans arenít willing to maintain it- that would mean having to spend money, and spend it on things that benefit everyone(!)

As a whole, we tend to like things cheap and fast. Sad.
Projects are designed to fit budgets. The initial expense, and the maintenance thereafter.

For example: power transmission and distribution lines.

Trees are cleared within so many feet of power lines (high voltage, bare conductor) as not to make contact from a gust of wind. Some things can be the exception to this prevention effort, such as a limb detaching a tree, airborne until it lands on something.

Underground lines are NOT foolproof, as everyone says. I work in utilities and I'd wager that there are just as many projects going underground as there are above. Digging, trenching, directional bore, drill/auger, excavating... for everything imaginable... swimming pools, underground electrical, underground telephone, underground cable, underground gas lines, hand holes, vaults, man holes...

In case you missed the story, the NC Outer Banks were without power for a week when an underground transmission line was struck by a directional bore bit.

Repair times are shorter with overhead lines, and the best part is, YOU CAN SEE THEM. I've responded to a report of a major longhaul fiber cut due to someone drilling to set a mailbox for a HUD house. There are more unexpected events than one would realize because of there not being a way to effectively communicate all changes to a piece of property:

1. Utility sets underground lines at specified depth of 3 feet, job inspected, passes, job closed.

2. Developer begins construction at an address for single family home.

3. Land is graded to control runoff and direct water away from home toward curb and storm drains.

4. Mailboxes are typically located in an area defined as the utility easement, and there is no longer 3 feet of dirt on top of the buried utilities.

5. Digging begins with a gas powered post hole digger, and it cuts right through the jacket on direct-bury cable.

Happens all the time.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:36 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,026,502 times
Reputation: 2071
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
Projects are designed to fit budgets. The initial expense, and the maintenance thereafter.

For example: power transmission and distribution lines.

Trees are cleared within so many feet of power lines (high voltage, bare conductor) as not to make contact from a gust of wind. Some things can be the exception to this prevention effort, such as a limb detaching a tree, airborne until it lands on something.

Underground lines are NOT foolproof, as everyone says. I work in utilities and I'd wager that there are just as many projects going underground as there are above. Digging, trenching, directional bore, drill/auger, excavating... for everything imaginable... swimming pools, underground electrical, underground telephone, underground cable, underground gas lines, hand holes, vaults, man holes...

In case you missed the story, the NC Outer Banks were without power for a week when an underground transmission line was struck by a directional bore bit.

Repair times are shorter with overhead lines, and the best part is, YOU CAN SEE THEM. I've responded to a report of a major longhaul fiber cut due to someone drilling to set a mailbox for a HUD house. There are more unexpected events than one would realize because of there not being a way to effectively communicate all changes to a piece of property:

1. Utility sets underground lines at specified depth of 3 feet, job inspected, passes, job closed.

2. Developer begins construction at an address for single family home.

3. Land is graded to control runoff and direct water away from home toward curb and storm drains.

4. Mailboxes are typically located in an area defined as the utility easement, and there is no longer 3 feet of dirt on top of the buried utilities.

5. Digging begins with a gas powered post hole digger, and it cuts right through the jacket on direct-bury cable.

Happens all the time.
thats just pure lack of calling the locator to come out and mark them.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:18 PM
 
1,461 posts, read 330,127 times
Reputation: 1663
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitpausebutton2 View Post
thats just pure lack of calling the locator to come out and mark them.
811 it can't get any simpler than that.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:55 PM
 
1,461 posts, read 330,127 times
Reputation: 1663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anywhere but here View Post
The greedy, sociopaths running our country have it figured out. The more cash they keep to themselves the better off they are. They have no intention of making our lives better.
Opportunities exist in both public sector and the businesses residing in said areas.

Damaged electrical or internet infrastructure? I was informed by an IT contractor for McDonald's that their POS system can continue to accept card payments during an outage, but is limited to $10,000 in gross receipts before it needs to process the batch. Why impose this limit, if we continue to see cases where outages would cause high-volume retail locations to hit the threshold before power or internet is restored?

This is a huge opportunity for startups pursuing everything from POS systems to backup generators to wireless failover for business connectivity solutions.
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Old 07-09-2018, 04:37 PM
 
25,800 posts, read 49,685,561 times
Reputation: 19248
When I originally worked in the mountains the power would go out often during electric storms...

I had not been back for many years and noticed all the power lines had been undergrounded.

The owner of the company said there had not been an outage since the lines went underground... 7 years at that time where as it was almost guaranteed to happen during the frequent summer electrical storms...

Where I live now the utilities were horizontal boring to replace aged natural gas lines to private residences... the ultility bored through a sanitary sewer apparantly unknown to anyone.

When the sewer backed up the owner called a rotor company to clear the line... never had a problem before.

The rotor company severed the gas line and the gas ignited like a torch... lucky no one was injured.

At first the utility claimed the roto-rooter company damaged the gas line...

The line was excavated and it was clear as day the contractor hired by the utility had bored right through the sanitary sewer...
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