Infrastructure

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Sandy
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Sandy »

Highway wrote: 20 Jul 2017, 12:53 That really is hilarious. Verbal government approval? What, some governor (maybe Virginia) said "Yeah, that looks really cool!" and that's verbal government approval.
From a tweet:
DrNeilTyson: ELON MUSK: President Trump, did you know smart guys say "approved?"
TRUMP: Approved
ELON: Thx
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Highway
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Highway »

"We're going to have the best tunnels, just the best. It's going to be terrific to go from the White House to my Trump Tower in half an hour. But make sure these things run on steam, cause those electric motor-thingys, they're no good."
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Highway
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Highway »

The Maryland Purple Line is un-stayed at the moment, so they're trying to line up the federal funding. That's not going to get them building it anytime soon, tho, from what I hear about the construction approvals (I know the people involved...).
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Aresen
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Re: Infrastructure

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Highway wrote: 20 Jul 2017, 12:53 That really is hilarious. Verbal government approval? What, some governor (maybe Virginia) said "Yeah, that looks really cool!" and that's verbal government approval.

To be honest, I don't know what environmental review of a subterranean section would consist of. It might be easier in the East, given how it's not particularly active seismically. I dunno. And if he was going to bore at, say, a couple hundred feet down, then it's not like there would be a ton of impacts on the surface. But then you have to do a lot of work that low, which would be expensive.

The guy thinks that his tunnel boring would be cost competitive, tho, and I don't know if there's any particularly harder process with boring deeper so that it wouldn't matter where you go in plan. That's more of a question for lunchstealer.
The only comparable boring project I can think of is the Chunnel, which ran about £10 billion three decades ago for a build less than 1/10 the distance.
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Highway
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Highway »

Aresen wrote: 20 Jul 2017, 19:03
Highway wrote: 20 Jul 2017, 12:53 That really is hilarious. Verbal government approval? What, some governor (maybe Virginia) said "Yeah, that looks really cool!" and that's verbal government approval.

To be honest, I don't know what environmental review of a subterranean section would consist of. It might be easier in the East, given how it's not particularly active seismically. I dunno. And if he was going to bore at, say, a couple hundred feet down, then it's not like there would be a ton of impacts on the surface. But then you have to do a lot of work that low, which would be expensive.

The guy thinks that his tunnel boring would be cost competitive, tho, and I don't know if there's any particularly harder process with boring deeper so that it wouldn't matter where you go in plan. That's more of a question for lunchstealer.
The only comparable boring project I can think of is the Chunnel, which ran about £10 billion three decades ago for a build less than 1/10 the distance.
Like I said, for some reason, Musk thinks that his tunnel boring can be cost competitive. And it's almost certain that a project done by a private company is going to be cheaper than a design-build government contract, which is what I have familiarity with. I don't really know what Musk has that would make his tunnel boring cheaper, but it's possible he's got something. It seems like he wants to have the cutter head rotate faster, but we'll see if that's feasible.

But this is also a guy who exhorted a rocket company to make landing a booster rocket feasible, and they did it. TBMs are kinda similar: expensive things that are frequently just wasted when the project is done because removal and rehab is more expensive than they're deemed worth.
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lunchstealer
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by lunchstealer »

Charleston had an idea that the East was seismically active even before Virginia.

I'm not much better suited to discussing tunneling, but my guess is that the biggest extra cost is just going to be the longer distance for ventilation/maintenance shafts, which is probably mostly negligible. You're going to be almost entirely below water table, but I'm sure that's a solved problem. Going deeper probably makes environmental and some engineering problems easier. Sediments are going to be more consolidated, you'll probably be under any ice-age river cuts, so you'll be in bedrock almost entirely, which probably makes things easier from a stability standpoint, although it might make boring more expensive/slower.
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by dead_elvis »

Comic-Con asks the question we've always been wondering: How do you rebuild after those super hero battles destroy your city?
"The problem with this one is you have a government actor, right? Captain America. Insurance is not going to cover it," he said as laughter filled the room. "And then you've got a deity, Thor. There's an act of god exclusion. If this becomes the norm, we've got to change the law to stop insurance companies from putting these exclusions in there."
"Within minutes of this happening, Gov. Jerry Brown would say, 'This is why we need high speed rail,'" joked Fletcher, who sported a Wonder Woman T-shirt. "President Trump would have tweeted, he would’ve blamed Obama. The rest of us here we would’ve tried to figure out what to do."
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Highway
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Highway »

dead_elvis wrote: 24 Jul 2017, 09:00 Comic-Con asks the question we've always been wondering: How do you rebuild after those super hero battles destroy your city?
"The problem with this one is you have a government actor, right? Captain America. Insurance is not going to cover it," he said as laughter filled the room. "And then you've got a deity, Thor. There's an act of god exclusion. If this becomes the norm, we've got to change the law to stop insurance companies from putting these exclusions in there."
"Within minutes of this happening, Gov. Jerry Brown would say, 'This is why we need high speed rail,'" joked Fletcher, who sported a Wonder Woman T-shirt. "President Trump would have tweeted, he would’ve blamed Obama. The rest of us here we would’ve tried to figure out what to do."
I only learned about it yesterday (because I don't read Marvel or DC Comics), but the Marvel universe has a company named Damage Control. Presumably they bill various entities. The whole thing is just as fantastic as the superheros in the first place, because that level of wealth destruction would certainly have an overall effect on new buildings being put up.
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Mo
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Mo »

Wasn't Damage Control owned by Tony Stark and Kingpin? Seems like a massive conflict of interest.
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Highway
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Highway »

Mo wrote: 24 Jul 2017, 09:51 Wasn't Damage Control owned by Tony Stark and Kingpin? Seems like a massive conflict of interest.
Apparently yes, initially.
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Re: Infrastructure

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wouldn't the existence of thor have, like, such massive changes that make adjustments to insurance policies seem like fingernail clippings?
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Highway
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Highway »

dhex wrote: 24 Jul 2017, 14:15 wouldn't the existence of thor have, like, such massive changes that make adjustments to insurance policies seem like fingernail clippings?
It would. It's one of those things you're better off not thinking about. I mean, the existence of supervillains kind of has the same issue.
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Re: Infrastructure

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A Norse deity walking down the street might cause some awkward conversations in places like Rome, Jerusalem, and Mecca.

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Re: Infrastructure

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thoreau wrote: 24 Jul 2017, 15:31 A Norse deity walking down the street might cause some awkward conversations in places like Rome, Jerusalem, and Mecca.

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But he's the Son, not the Father.
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Highway
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Highway »

I love to see dynamic tolls working like this (on the new HOT section of I-66 in Virginia):
Certainly, some motorists had their plans upended because the Virginia Department of Transportation had projected that the tolls would average $5 to $6. Instead, a.m. tolls for the 10 miles of expressway surged to $34.50 on Monday and $40 on Tuesday before dropping to $23 on Wednesday and $20 on Thursday as solo drivers made other arrangements.
That's exactly how it's supposed to work! It's working already! One of my biggest beefs with a lot of dynamic tolling to this point is that it hasn't gone high enough, usually capped at 7 or 8 dollars per trip. If people are paying it, then it's worth it to them. Don't want to pay it, then sit in traffic. If they drop the price too much, then you'll just have people paying the toll to sit in traffic, too.
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Jennifer
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Jennifer »

I understand the rationale for the dynamic tolling, but at the same time I completely sympathize with the complaints against it: a lot of people with those hyperlong commutes are those who cannot AFFORD to live in reasonable distance to their jobs, and this high toll is going to make matters even worse.

I consider this particular issue a subcategory of "the rent is too damned high."
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Highway
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Highway »

How does this make things worse? In this case, it's a situation where the lanes used to be HOV only. Now they're HOT. As was pointed out, last week single drivers had the single option of sitting in traffic and watching cars in the HOV lane go by them. Now they still have that option, but they also have an option of paying to use those same lanes and drive by the other people in the normal lanes. And hopefully it helps the normal lanes at least a little (although it's been fairly solidly proven now that added capacity doesn't reduce congestion long term).
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JasonL
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by JasonL »

It's an unmitigated good. The complaints are all class war optics.
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Jennifer
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Jennifer »

Highway wrote: 07 Dec 2017, 14:30 How does this make things worse? In this case, it's a situation where the lanes used to be HOV only. Now they're HOT. As was pointed out, last week single drivers had the single option of sitting in traffic and watching cars in the HOV lane go by them. Now they still have that option, but they also have an option of paying to use those same lanes and drive by the other people in the normal lanes. And hopefully it helps the normal lanes at least a little (although it's been fairly solidly proven now that added capacity doesn't reduce congestion long term).
Objectively speaking, for people who previously could not have used the HOV lanes no matter what, it makes no difference. Emotionally (especially given what a huge hotbutton topic "commuter traffic" already is in that region -- IIRC, it was an actual plank in Danica Roem's campaign platform, and this did not make her unusual), I definitely see problems arising from the widespread perception "This ostensible public good actually works quite badly for the rank and file but -- oh, look, if you're rich enough to pay $35 extra for a brief one-way trip then it works out well for you." Unless somehow it's shown "Every cent of that toll money is invested in something to make the system less-sucky for the rank and file."

Note: the previous was meant as an "is" statement, not an "ought" statement.
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JasonL
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by JasonL »

Every car that is removed from the regular lane is an improvement to the rank and file. That's the point.
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Jennifer »

JasonL wrote: 07 Dec 2017, 16:05 Every car that is removed from the regular lane is an improvement to the rank and file. That's the point.
The rank and file stuck in barely mobile traffic while people who can afford to pay an extra $35 a pop whiz right by them won't be convinced of that. That's my point.
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JasonL
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by JasonL »

Are the rank and file better off or worse off
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Jennifer
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Jennifer »

If they're stuck sitting in traffic jams every day, there's as bad off as they were before. Perhaps the loss of those $35 toll-payers actually will shave 15 seconds off their hour-plus commute, but I don't expect them to appreciate it.)
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JasonL
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by JasonL »

I mean, the pricing should keep the hov lane full and moving which is as good as having another lane. If having a lane open helps, this helps.
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Jennifer
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Re: Infrastructure

Post by Jennifer »

Except I can sympathize with the notion that the transportation network should not be so inherently dysfunctional that bare functionality is a pricey "extra." (Hence my upthread reference to "unless they're putting all that extra toll money into making the rest of the system NOT suck so much.)
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