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October 06, 2012


It may be easier to build new roads. No, I don't know that for a fact, but NH has been trying to upgrade I93 since we moved here. This was supposed to be a 10 year plan, but they spent 10 years fighting lawsuits from people "concerned" about birds, frogs, noise, pollution and even that the upgrade design wasn't sufficient to carry traffic projected for sometime into the future (said suit brought by an environmental group). So, this 10 year upgrade didn't even get started until 2006. It's projected to be done in 2018 - the increased cost drove up the actual build time, and upped the cost by 1,000% (okay, I'm just throwing a number out there, but the cost was increased substantually by the lawsuits and rising costs over the years).

Meanwhile, I haven't heard about such a fight to get new roads built, of course the only new roads they build here are local, and go to new construction, so maybe our circumstance is different from what Slashdot is referring to.

Bogie--Oh, I think that it is undoubtedly easier in many cases to build something new.

Building roads and highways varies widely from place to place; but, from the perspective of having lived/worked in many places, I don't recall (Oh, yes, such perfect recall, I have!) the various factors that you mention differing between new construction and up-grade/maintenance construction.

Part of my concern is for what seems to happen with the old roads that had previously carried the traffic when a completely new road is built to carry that traffic. Mostly, I think, the old roads don't carry enough traffic to warrant spending the money to keep them up and they become a pain and eyesores (much like many buildings that are vacated in favor of new - a real blight in our neck of the woods these days).

BTW: Is the "1,000%" before or after inflation - lol.

Sounds like circumstances are much different - usually dont' build new roads to replace old roads except short little by-passes around towns (such as Hillsboro had built about 8 years ago). That project actually had very little opposition as the in-town traffic in Hillsboro was a great big bottle-neck to those trying to get to Concord (or Keene). Wal-Mart had a much harder time just trying to build a store around here (after 4-5 years, they gave up).

See this old BBC video : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8556915.stm

Stu--Inventive! It's rather like what we have in the USA where people are asked to adopt a 2-mile stretch of highway, pledging to do monthly cleanup of litter in the right-of-way. A blog friend in England posted a couple of months ago about a huge pothole about which she and her husband (having had separate mishaps with it) were having a go-round with the Essex County Council, last June. Road upkeep is a challenge for many locales.

In the airplane/military business, we worked with life-cycle-costs; but, the concept has not much been used in other branches of government. Or, at least, it is not well publicized and the evidence is hard to come by.

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