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Some New Insights Into Significant Details In Large Scale Train

February 29, 2016

Instead, the two biggest drivers of higher costs are changes to the plan. One set of changes is that because its taking the state time to get the money together, the duration of the project is being extended which is pushing costs up. In essence, the project is so expensive that California wants to do it more slowly which is making it even more expensive. Another set of changes is that a lot of post-hoc modifications are being made at the request of local communities who want more segments to be tunnelized or viaducted. Both of these, I hope people will understand, represent systematic pathologies in the American infrastructure planning process and not something unique about passenger rail. The former, in particular, is maddening. We spend too little on infrastructure in a way that winds up driving up the per-project cost, which winds up driving down the per-dollar utility of infrastructure spending which winds up eating away at public support for infrastructure spending. And the set of cost drivers forced by community opposition would imperil any large scale transportation project. In either case simply shifting the California HSR pot of money into some other project wouldnt resolve the problem (see Brad Plumer for a full discussion ). If you cast your eyes east to the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge, youll see that large-scale automobile infrastructure projects on the east coast are every bit as subject to these overruns as large-scale train infrastructure projects on the west coast.

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