Friday, February 6, 2009

And furthermore

Yesterday, I wrote about the "new" 10-lane $3 + Billion Port Mann Bridge plan from The Highwayman, Kevin "Don't Ask Me Anything" Falcon.

Pelalusa asked me if my views on such projects have changed and what I propose.

Here are my answers.

No, my views haven't changed.

If there is a legitimate project to be built, get on with it and build it. Stop mucking about for 20 years while the costs escalate.

If it is a legitimate role for the government and taxpayers, then pay for it.

BUT stop selling this P-3 bull that pretends that the government will save millions of dollars, when the net result is inevitably that the taxpayers will in fact be on the hook for millions more than were ever advertised.

When governments sign deals with men in suits, you and I pay. Governments are voted out of office, men in suits prosper and taxpayers pay.

As for the Port Mann Bridge specifically, $1.75 billion was already assigned for a twinning of the bridge.

To clear than plan off the table and replace it with no public discussion or consultation or referendum with a $3Billion (read $5-6 Billion in reality) tear down and replace plan is completely a NO GO.



Bill Tieleman said...

Right on David - doubling the cost in just 8 months? What kind of suckers run this government?

And why would you tear down a perfectly good existing bridge? That will cost tens of millions more!

Tony Wade said...

You need to run for office. I would vote for you, and I live in England. I could fly back and vote.
I MEAN it.

Transclunk said...

Wall Street's new target for seperating Dollars from their owners is; Govt. infrastructure projects ... HASN'T ANYONE LEARNED ANYTHING FROM THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE FIASCO?, OR THE BC RAIL GIVE-AWAY?

Light Rail Guy said...

David, for the extra $1.8 billion for Campbell 'monument to himself', we could have had a 'twinned' Port Mann and a deluxe 'electric' Vancouver to Chilliwack interurban, including a new multi-track Fraser River Rail Bridge, separate LRT lines in Surrey, Langley, and Abbotsford, including a rail line to Abbotsford International Airport!

Green Gordo and Kev, are green in tax only, just wait, this is another RAV/Canada Line piss poor ponzi scheme designed to feed taxpayer's money to friends of the government, legally, by gold-plating a transportation project!

NRF said...

Tearing down the existing bridge and replacing it is a political decision, not one of engineering or economics. Campbell and his sycophantic partner didn't want one bridge with a toll and one without so they plan to demolish the multi-lane high speed bridge that serves over 100,000 cars a day.
Surely friends of Gordon and Kevin have been sufficiently enriched and don't need another P3.
Interesting isn't it that "conservative" politicians make radical deals with no public consultation. Any private citizen or company that wanted to make a massive neighbourhood change would face a lengthy public process. Campbell decides in private who gains and who loses.
Without access to information, we can only assume the fix is in, again.

Anonymous said...

Canadians lost TAXATION WITH REPRESENTATION when the Canada Act replaced the British North America Act.
Translink would not have existed in it's present form before 1982 without being elected.
The old Port Mann bridge could be floated down the river on barges to replace the Patullo.

Martino said...

Keith, that's an absolutely brilliant idea...and I'm pretty sure that Translink will not do it. Re-use a bridge, you wouldn't want to do that...even though it'd save about 800 million dollars.

They'll do some state-of-the-art super bridge with 4 lanes each way, tolled at $5 a crossing for who knows how long.

NRF said...

I have an even better idea for crossing the Fraser. Since we already trashed the wild salmon runs, we can now build hydro electric dams on the river. Start the first one at Port Mann, building it wide enough to run the highway over top. The land newly underwater is on the natural flood plain anyway so really shouldn't have buildings on it. As with Canada Line on Cambie Street, we won't pay compensation because, ultimately, a move would be good for displaced potential flood victims. Sure, they would be inconvenienced but only in the short run.

A number of other benefits could be realized for only a few billion dollars. We could make 3P deals with California entrepreneurs to build dams on the Fraser River, maybe every 50 miles or so. In addition to getting many more river crossings, a lot of clean hydro energy could be generated for our American friends. They might even pay part of the dam costs if river crossing tolls are not sufficient to allow generous operating profits for P3 partners.

BC would benefit by flooding much of Surrey and a handful of poor settlements along the Fraser Canyon. We would create a lot of valuable waterfront land along the perimeter of new reservoirs. Much farmland would disappear and that would reduce the financial burdens caused by agricultural support measures.

In this small space, I can't list all the gains to be realized but compare the Fraser to the Columbia River. That examination would show our water system is terribly underutilized. A few BC people would be inconvenienced but, most importantly, business would benefit from the new activity.

Pelalusa said...

Dear Bill Tieleman & NRF:

Each of you have declared yourselves to be experts on the current state of the Port Mann Bridge. As such, a reasonable person would naturally conclude that you each have degrees in Civil Engineering. Could you please enlighten us as to what engineering schools you graduated from and in what year you received your Professional Engineering certification?

Also, to make the statements you have, you clearly must have financial projections on the maintenance costs of the current bridge over the next 25 years. Sharing these with all of us would be much appreciated too.

I eagerly await your responses, so that I can become as enlightened as each of you.

NRF said...

A comment in Paul Willcocks blog seems too precise to ignore:

"P3s should be called P12s - Public Private Partnerships to Plunder the Public Purse to Pursue Policies of Peril to People and the Planet for all Posterity."

If these scams were as good as they say, the insiders would allow public access to all information. I wonder why they don't do that?

The 70 year old Lions Gate bridge had suffered decline so serious that modest load limits were needed. Its rehabilitation was determined to be the "best cost" option to extend life by decades.

The 44 year old Port Mann bridge safely carries 100,000+ vehicles a day. It was modernized in 2001 with bridge deck reengineered and one lane added. Now 8 years later, it needs to be destroyed?

Can anyone explain why we need secret negotiations and public project decision making behind closed doors?

Anonymous said...

This week I heard Vaughn Palmer say that the Australiam firm which is the P3 partner on this massive mess is having financial problems. Check the Ozzie papers. (McQUARRIE)

Again, if you don't like what's happening call John McComb or Philip Till and raise hell. That tired, overweight old man in the mornings ought to be forced to retire as all he does is suck up to Cambpell, as does Christy Clark with her "MOMMY" BRIGADES.

Anonymous said...

There shouldn't be any tolls on the Port Mann Bridge until there are tolls on the Sea to Sky Highway...One is a vital artery in the lower mainland and the other is highway to get the rich to Whistler faster

Anonymous said...

I quit listening to CKNW when they started interrupting their repetetive ad stream with bits of programming. Hopefully they'll learn the lesson just before the last listener switches off.