Friday, August 29, 2014

Like a toll bridge on a rainy day

Someone should feel so bad about this, because taxpayers were done a dirty deal, and can't just shake their heads and walk away;
The cost of repairs and unfinished work on the $6.4 billion Bay Bridge eastern span is likely to exhaust what is left in the project's contingency [rainy day] fund for overruns, a Caltrans official warned Thursday.
....The bridge contingency fund - money collected from toll payers' wallets - totaled $900 million when it was created in 2005. At the time, bridge officials portrayed it as far more than they were likely to need.
Now, however, the fund is down to $90 million, and "a bunch of" pending payments for finishing work on the new bridge and demolishing the old span will probably "eat up" that money and more, [risk manager Rick] Foley said. He pegged the likelihood of exhausting the fund at 80 percent.
80% and rising, is more like it.
Steel grit that embedded in the paint when grinding was being done during construction is rusting, which had already required an extra $2.5 million in work before the committee approved the new money [$4 million] Thursday. The misaligned steel rods have created the risk that steel cable strands will rub against metal on the bridge, potentially weakening the cable.
This on top of the cost overruns from the 1998 estimate of $1.4 billion to build the span. The final total will be at least $6.5 billion.

Meanwhile the French Communists who authorized the privately financed Millau Viaduct can chuckle.

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