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Old 01-28-2013, 10:16 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, maybe they pay construction workers less. Someone could do an analysis. Hard to believe there would be less red tape in a semi-socialist country like Spain (or Scandinavia, mentioned above).
Spain probably does pay its construction workers less, though though unions are rather strong there (though that might change with the economic crisis). Assume Sacndinavia would be more.

Could have less red tape for government project, in Scandinavia, a lot of the socialist is very large welfare benefits rather than byzantine beaucracy. Would be interesting to look up more when I have a chance.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
4 miles of bridge for just road, though with higher traffic volumes
Does any of the $6 billion for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge include demolishing and disposing of the existing bridge, though? Not to mention rerouting the bridge approaches (I was just in Tarrytown this summer, attending the Dark Shadows convention! ).

That could account for a higher cost/mile. That Scandinavian bridge, while more complicated, was not replacing an existing bridge, right?

If I missed something, disregard everything I've said! LOL (Except the part about the Dark Shadows convention ... )

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Suspect that might be true for New York City, a family member works in a NYC firm who said bidding for government was annoying complicated and something to be avoided.
None of that would surprise me one bit.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:21 PM
Status: "Ahh. 107*, perfect." (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Lawsuits regarding imminent domain and Environmental "Concerns", and Americans don't work with urgency. When I was in China for business, I saw them tear down a 6 story building and build another more modern structure in one week. Why? Because, They don't give a crap about public input, keep the public out of American projects and they will actually get done on time and on budget. In America you have to decontaminate the site, take a bunch of stuff out of the building for environmental reasons, groundwater concerns, HVAC refrigerants, possible lead pipes/paint. Then you have some hippy who is worried about trees or the construction noise or some richy rich worried about dust on his BMW suing to stop the project until their demands are met. In China, I swear. 15 trucks and equipment showed up in unison, 200 workers, jogging and walking quickly immediately started rigging and getting tools prepared. 6 hours later they had it rigged up to explode. They said something over the loud speaker as people frantically were moving cars, then boom. They blew it up, it fell. 15 trucks and 200 workers departed then 200 more workers and 10 big hoppers and bunch of backhoes and started smashing up debris and putting it in hoppers. Like clockwork, 3 hopper/dump truck in a row on the street then each moved forward each time it was filled. I get back about 9PM and they have set up lights and they are working just as furiously through the night. The next morning the spot was picked clean, there wasn't any debris left at all. 200 other workers and a bunch over excavators came in and started digging holes. In 36 hours they had demolished and cleaned up the old building. Something similar in America or Europe would have taken weeks just to dismantle and clean up.

I'm not Chinese, I'm caucasian as they come. I have no idea how well the job was done, all I know it was done and it was done FAST!

I couldn't help but think of the big public works projects like The Golden Gate and Hoover Dam. That was a time when America simply GOT IT DONE! That's what the Chinese have always done an continue to do at an alarming pace. Although, I will say the air really is as bad the news reports and the tap water is undrinkable. AND.... That new building will probably collapse and kill everyone in it in 15 years. I guess I still like the American/European way better.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
Public-transport costs: Why American transport projects cost so much | The Economist

An excellent question if you ask me. Litigation and red tape come first to mind. Thoughts?
Not a bad article, but it misses on one of the key points of why America transit projects cost so much.

America transit projects are way over engineered, and over built. They waste so much money over building these systems.

The RTD Union Station redevelopment in Denver is probably the best example I can think of. 20 years ago RTD completely the rebuilt the platforms in front of the station, and they did a good job. Those platforms along with the underground infrastructure were among the best quality that I have ever seen. And I have seen train stations in Japan, which are some of the best in the world.

So what does RTD do? They ripped out, all those perfectly good almost brand new train platforms along with a lot of beautiful historical underground infrastructure, so they can build a hundred plus million dollar futuristic "train box" monstrosity thing. Which in my opinion is not only a waste of money, but totally clashes with the historic station. And people in Denver can't seem to figure out why their rail system is $2 billion over budget, and there won't be enough money to complete the line from Denver to Boulder until 2046.

Below is a picture of the platforms that they destroyed, and below that a picture of their plans for their "train box". This is why American transportation projects cost so much.




Last edited by KaaBoom; 01-28-2013 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:34 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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^ New station kinda matches the new airport.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:37 PM
 
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The project is first studied, often over many years, multiple times. Once funded, it has to be reviewed by cities and agencies. Then environmental permits obtained. This is before design contracts are issued. And sometimes even during construction a historic site or endangered species site stops it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
^ New station kinda matches the new airport.
For the money they are spending on it, it had better match.

Anyway thats the problem. Maybe it does match the new Airport, but it sure the hell doesn't match a 130 year old train station.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:49 AM
 
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Quote:
The project is first studied, often over many years, multiple times. Once funded, it has to be reviewed by cities and agencies. Then environmental permits obtained. This is before design contracts are issued.
This is the modern form of Graft. All the studiers are in the cronyism sphere and siphon off the money before it's ever started.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Could it be the public involvement processes, environmental impact statements, and civil rights/environmental justice concerns? I have no idea if we're unique in the amount of stuff we have to do before a thing is built.
Environmental impact costs are probably a big part of it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The author of the Pedestrian Observations post made this comment further down:

I donít want to offer explanations for the high costs; the only one Iím even mildly sure about is that US contracting procurement, especially in New York, is so byzantine that the only bidders are too incompetent or corrupt to get private-sector work. I donít think itís really because of capitalism-socialism issues, because the costs in both Scandinavia and Singapore are stunningly average. However, Iíve heard either from the MTAís Making Every Dollar Count report or from a comment on said report that the specific rules in New York force about 50-100% overstaffing, something that at least elsewhere I know does not exist in Scandinavian transit.

Suspect that might be true for New York City, a family member works in a NYC firm who said bidding for government was annoying complicated and something to be avoided.
The reason for the complications, however, is the history of corruption in construction bidding in New York. It takes a lot of procedure and scrutiny to ensure fair competition and fraud prevention.
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