29
Dec
08

Public Works Not That Easy, Barack

We have heard hopeful pronouncements about WPA-like public works, as the right way to put America back to work.  President-elect Barack sounds great when he speaks about infrastructure projects like interstates, bridges, tunnels, you name it.  Sounds like a nice dream, right?

WPA Forging Ahead

Let the Bay Area’s brand of public works provide a cautionary note.  Despite our proud heritage of iconic bridges, we’re also known for infrastructure that didn’t quite work during the big quake.  Or infrastructure that’s not keeping up with population and traffic demands.  Decades pass, and we are needy and trying to rebuild these days.

The latest hiccups in completing the Bay Bridge retrofit or starting the Caldecott fourth bore are front-page news again.  While bridge construction is underway, a new longshoremen labor dispute holds the steel hostage – and each day adds another million to the project’s billions.  Meanwhile the tunnel boring is mostly financed and may begin sometime next year, after North Hills residents litigate and address some environmental concerns.

If these construction mega-projects serve as prime examples, then we must take a reality check.  Who’s responsible?  How do projects get financed?  How quickly do jobs appear from the ether?   There are years filled with planning, reviews, protests, bidding, construction, labor disputes, cost overages, delays – rinse and repeat.

We encounter the fallout every single day, whether commuting or running errands from our Montclair vahalla.  The  benefits of major infrastructure are worth the tribulations, and we eventually do see the light.  Yet the jobs created during construction, while welcome, are hardly an economic panacea.

Advertisements

1 Response to “Public Works Not That Easy, Barack”


  1. 1 Andy Kleiber
    December 31, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Mega projects are almost always plagued with problems – so are small projects, however, since they are small no one hears about them. The bigger the project, the more that is at stake, and the more politics is involved.

    Planning and designing a project puts people to work too. As soon as a project is funded, people are working on it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


December 2008
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Welcome to Montclair, Oakland

We live in the city yet are invaded by nature - or perhaps it's the other way around. Stop by often, and find out what's interesting to 94611 denizens.


%d bloggers like this: