Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, October 25, 2015

News for Morons; California Edition

$68-billion California bullet train project likely to overshoot budget and deadline targets.
I'd take that as a fucking given. The replacement to the Oakland Bay Bridge was ten years late, built with substandard steel from China and cost almost seven times as much as originally planned. It was so bad that CalTrans actively sought to muzzle critics of the project, who were bringing to light problems with both quality and corruption.

Keep in mind, that's for two bridges to replace ones that were already there, for a total length of 4½ miles. The CA High-Speed Railroad people think that it'll only cost ten times as much as was spent on one bridge project to build a 300 mile-long high-speed railroad and that they can do it in less time than it took CalTrans to build that bridge.

They're not smoking crack. They're following the playbook used by other government projects, notably the F-35, in which they spend oodles of money and then go back for more, saying: "Look how much we've spent so far! It'll all be wasted if we don't finish the job!"

The morons are not those running the project. The morons here are the politicans and the people who wiill swallow that line of bilgewater without gulping even once.


3383 said...

The old span needed replacing.
Oakland wanted a pretty bridge on their side to compare with the suspension bridge on the west side. A regular concrete viaduct (like the rest of the span aside from the cable-stayed section) was derided as being a "freeway on stilts" (yes, and...?)
YEARS overdue and $BILLIONS later, flaws arw still being found- flaws that, if Caltrans employees had been doing their job, would've been rejected or prevented. Paraphrased example- "Hey, the spec says we gotta apply sealant on these railing segments like a gasket before installation, how 'bout we apply it like grout after installation?" "Durr, okaaaay." Now areas that should stay dry get flooded. This attitude already cost human life, because the temporary S-curve into the YBI tunnel did not meet Caltrans specs for rate, posted speed, and caution signage. Because Caltrans let the contractor do it they way the contractor wanted.
Every flaw found- hydrogen embrittlement cracking (I remember that from nuc school, where did these engineers go to school?), weak and snapped rods, bad threads- are downplayed by Caltrans.
It will fail at the next Big One. Hopefully I won't be on it, and hopefully it is replaced by a regular modern concrete structure. But the same state culture is running the (non) high speed rail project.
I didn't vote for it; who the hell did?

Sorry for the "guest post", Comrade.

dinthebeast said...

Remember, we have Arnie to thank for the whole debacle, as he shot down the first proposals made in his quest to end wasteful spending to keep our ridiculous tax laws intact. I apologize on behalf of the state of California for letting that moron take the Governor's office away from Gray Davis, who I voted for.

-Doug in Oakland

3383 said...

I blame Jerry and Willie.

Gray Davis' big mistake was panicking and signing bad power contracts after Enron's artificial shortages.

Arnie's big mistake was going after nurses and teachers right away, and making his case poorly.