Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Christie Ought to Hire Some Euros to Dig

Chris Christie is taking alot of heat for cancelling the ARC, which is the name for the extra tunnel underneath the Hudson river that would provide another rail link between New York City and New Jersey. The tunnel is needed, but as it stands it's a a huge waste/boondoggle. I've got a better idea, let's have the Swiss do the job. They just drilled a 35.5 mile long tunnel underneath the Alps for $12.58 billion (that's $354 million per mile). In NJ they're talking close to $11 billion for barely over a couple of miles (if that). Call it three miles, that's $3.66 billion per mile. Engineering differences simply can't account for the cost difference - the delta is 1) corruption, 2) ineptitude, and 3) union wages. Don't think this is a fair analysis? Remember when I told you about the Tappan Zee Bridge versus the Millau Viaduct?? It is a crime. We could have so much more/better infrastructure in this country, but we'd have to totally rethink how we go about it. Christie is right, no matter much a project is needed, at some grossly repulsive level of cost overrun, it is not worth it. Pains me to say it, but we should hire the Swiss and/or the French to build the ARC and the Tappan Zee on fixed price contracts. They may have screwed up their private sectors to no end with radical unionism over there across the pond but they haven't let union greed hijack their infrastructure needs.


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