The Japs and the Yanks can do it, why can't we?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by asmallbrownduck, Jul 16, 2011.

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  1. OK, so the press are calling it carmageddon but the meat of the story is that they are closing a 10 mile stretch of motorway in Los Angeles for just 53 hours to add more lanes to it! BBC News - 'Carmageddon': LA braces for traffic gridlock

    After the earthquake in Japan it took them just 6 days to reopen a motorway wrecked by the quake.
    Japan tsunami and earthquake: Road repaired SIX days after it was destroyed | Mail Online


    Here it years and endless delays to do anything!
    Are our roads more complicated to build (the Romans seemed to do a pretty good job) or are we hamstrung by regulations and a bone idle workforce?
    Surely working flat out 24hrs a day would be more cost effective as the delays would only be for a shorter period.

    It took nearly two years to replace a roundabout on the A64 near York that was supposed to reduce delays; two years of delays later and it has made very little difference.

    What about chain gangs?
     
  2. They are closing it to replace the bridge as part of the widening project, not to add more lanes overnight
     
  3. From the BBC "Workers plan to add more lanes to a 10-mile (16km) section of the freeway"
     
  4. Nimbyism, plain and simple. We can't get anything done because we have this bizarre idea that we need to get everyone's agreement that something is in the common good before we can do it.

    Since a substantial portion of our population are short-sighted, selfish cretins we wind up in the situation we're in.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Sometimes the Americans can take ages too ... there's a particular junction just west of DC [where Rte 236 crosses I-495 ... the Beltway] where they have been digging [or not] for nearly 2 years. 38.50.03N, 77.13.05W It's not exactly massive work ... just a new [bigger] bridge and revised ramps. Google Earth shows the mix of old and new very well.

    However, the one big problem we have in the UK is all the underground services. In the US, all the electricity and telephone cabling seems to be strung from poles [to then get hit by lightning].
     
  6. There was a program on telly about this a while ago. The root of the problem is thought to be that contractors are severely fined if they keep roads closed longer than they said they would. Hence, when bidding for work, they massively overestimate the amount of time that will be required.
     
  7. It's still much easier to replace though when it goes wrong.
     
  8. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Very true ... my experience of being in the Capital of the Planet suggests that power outages only last for an hour or so.
    The PITA is that they happen so often :nod:
     
  9. Depends on where you are, NYC for instance all the electrical is below ground. Telephone and Cable TV strung from the poles.
     
  10. I was in Florida a while back, when a contractor hit a gas main, whilst widening a Road near Fort Myers. No gas for a 70 mile radius for three days, well, where I was at least. I believe some places had no gas for much longer.

    So swings and roundabouts I suppose as too Infrustructure repair and maintenance.
     
  11. cost as well 10 days at 9sih to 5ish beats 4 days 24/7
     
  12. Being in the power outage business myself. Overhead lines are easy to fix and finding faults is a snap. However, an underground cable installed properly will almost never go wrong. When it does it takes a long time to fix. We have some technology to give us an approximate location (signal generators that measure bounce and cable sniffers that can smell the increased carbon) but quite a lot of the time end up going to the half way point to find the direction of the cable fault and then halfing the fault a couple more times before we find the fault.
     
  13. It's the tea breaks.

    Seriously though road contractors do seem to have a philosophy for pissing people off. Road works in my road started on a Saturday(?) where they blocked access twice to car drivers (no warning) with their vehicles. They only had to drive and park them 100m from the holes in the road in order not to inconvenience anyone but chose to cause a traffic jam in a cul-de-sac, ffs.
     
  14. Did meals on wheels manage to get to you or did you have to open a tin of PEK?
     
  15. Rushmoor BC replaced the road surface and all of the kerb stones around West Heath Roundabout last year in a couple of days by working through the night. Traffic disruption was kept to a minimum by intelligent coning of the working areas.

    654984.21 m E 5685046.64 m N