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The frenchies have one-upped us again [Dec. 14th, 2004|11:02 am]
Update: Nevermind! see the strikeout & footnote

So, this bridge opened yesterday. It's the worlds highest suspension cable-stayed[1] bridge, is 1.6 miles long, and cost half a billion dollars.

Compare to the new bay bridge, which was supposed to cost 1.8 billion in 1998 dollars. Granted, the bay bridge is a half mile longer, twice as wide, and built over an ocean in the worlds most earthquake prone area, but still; apparently it will cost 4.6 billion for your typical concrete skyway bridge to be built here. Double that if you want a third of it to be a suspension span.

It seems amazing that a seven tower suspension bridge over 1000 feet tall can be built 9 times over for the cost of the new bay bridge. Something doesn't add up.

[1] I looked at the picture. That is not a suspension bridge. It's a cable-stayed bridge. Compared to suspension bridges, cable-stayeds require less cable, can be constructed out of identical pre-cast concrete sections, and are faster to build, hence the extreme cheapness of it. Makes me wonder what other facts the article fucked up. Which brings us to [2]

[2] Why the fuck wasn't the bay bridge cable-stayed? It'd be pretty, cheaper than the current dabacle, and hopefully almost as earthquake-resistant as a suspension bridge. bah. [3]

[3] Okay, so I got curious, and cable stayed don't like earthquakes at all. "If any cable is too long or too short, its tension will differ enormously from the the rest of the cables. Therefore, provision is made in a great many cable-stayed bridges for the tension in each wire to be adjustable during the building of the bridge. It is entirely possible to build a suspension bridge with no adjustments at all. Once a bridge has been built, adjustments should not be needed. In practice there may be creep of ground or concrete. More seriously, earth tremors may create significant changes in vital dimensions."

[User Picture]From: lawrencebacchus
2004-12-15 12:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, thats pretty much it. The big problem with public works is that the gov't is usually pretty forgiving when it comes to going overbudget, and contractors tend to milk it like it'll never run dry. All the pipeline projects I've been on have been multi-billion dollar projects, (allthough they were built for private companies) you wouldn't *BELIEVE* the waste that occurs.
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[User Picture]From: whizistic
2004-12-15 12:48 am (UTC)
Heh, we got so fed up with the waste our cabling contractors were doing, we started writing into the contract that all excess supplies not used that we were billed for we got to keep. That was like christmas every week! Whole cartons of cable, panduit terminations, ladder rack, it was the best! Then they figured it out, and actually sent someone who can estimate. bah.
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[User Picture]From: lawrencebacchus
2004-12-15 12:59 am (UTC)
Now, take into consideration that occurs in every district, in every county, in every state in the nation...for pretty much every branch of the gov't. Think about how that money could be more effectively appropriated.
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