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Old 01-03-2018, 11:01 AM   #1
Arlington
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Cost of Big Infrastructure Boston, US, NYC, & Global

This is a thread in which I'd like to discuss
1) Why the global average costs are what they are
2) Why US projects cost more than the global average
3) Why the GLX almost got too expensive and how it was reigned back
4) How the Big Dig got too expensive and was not reigned back
5) Why NYC projects cost even more

and:
6 Who in the US "does it right";
7) Is the GLX now being "done right";
8) Will a "done right" GLX redeem Boston's reputation and enable an NSRL

#8 is my favorite. My belief is that Baker-Pollack may have done transit advocates a huge favor by crafting a big transit project that can be delivered on time and on (new) budget, as opposed to twin disasters Big Dig and Greenbush.

I suggest these articles as background

NYT on NYC's outlier costs for 2AvSub & ESA. (Dec 2017)
Can we talk rationally about the Big Dig yet? (from 2015)
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Last edited by Arlington; 01-03-2018 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:24 AM   #2
FitchburgLine
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Re: Cost of Big Infrastructure Boston, US, NYC, & Global

The GLX is now $200m/mi, which is quite high by international standards but not completely unacceptable, especially since it includes a maint facility and a flying junction over an active rail line.
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:55 AM   #3
Charlie_mta
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Re: Cost of Big Infrastructure Boston, US, NYC, & Global

My experience in the civil engineering field has been that project costs are increased due to NIMBYs. My suspicion is that in Europe people are more community oriented and willing to give up something for the good of the community. In the US its more like every man for himself. We are still the wild frontier in many ways.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:00 PM   #4
JumboBuc
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Re: Cost of Big Infrastructure Boston, US, NYC, & Global

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Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
I strongly recommend that everyone read this NYTimes article. It's a great look at typical NYC (vs Paris) construction practices and how they inflate project costs.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:43 PM   #5
CSTH
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Re: Cost of Big Infrastructure Boston, US, NYC, & Global

^TLDR: Extensive corruption, much of which takes the form of no-show orno-work (e.g. break room supervisor; elevator operator) union jobs at very high rates ($400 / hr on the weekend, for example. Abetted by contractors who operate on cost+ basis.

Outcomes is cost per mile 7x vs. Paris (for example). Should be a scandal.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:20 PM   #6
bakgwailo
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Re: Cost of Big Infrastructure Boston, US, NYC, & Global

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Originally Posted by FitchburgLine View Post
The GLX is now $200m/mi, which is quite high by international standards but not completely unacceptable, especially since it includes a maint facility and a flying junction over an active rail line.
In addition to the maintence facility, doesn't that also include the community path and Type-9 rolling stock?
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:22 PM   #7
FitchburgLine
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Re: Cost of Big Infrastructure Boston, US, NYC, & Global

Community path yes, rolling stock no (Type 9 trolleys are $5m/car, which is so bad as to warrant a formal investigation)
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