Sunday, July 17, 2011

USA Construction vs Canada Construction

Today the Mayor of Los Angeles announced that the 405 Freeway, which was dubbed Carmageddon would reopen at noon, 17 hours early.
Mayor Villaraigosa said the 53-hour timetable for the project was agreed upon by contractors, transportation and public safety officials.  He thanked Los Angeles residents for heeding public officials’ calls to stay off area freeways.
The shortened closure "goes to show what we all can do when we get together for a common cause," Villaraigosa said, “A lot of people in Los Angeles have learned you can get along without taking long rides in your car on the weekend, we avoided a traffic nightmare.”
No major incidents were reported during the closure of the 10-mile stretch of freeway.
Villaraigosa credited contractors with completing work ahead of schedule. By finishing early, the project was saved the $700,000 cost of an added 12-hour shift, the mayor said.
Of that money, $300,000 was promised to contractors as an incentive to finish early. There was also a powerful disincentive for contractors to delay: Had they finished late, they would have been docked $6,000 every 10 minutes for each side of the freeway that was still closed.
Folks, the American contractors moved in at Midnight Friday to do this job which entailed tearing down overpasses and widening and repaving the whole highway! 

Hmm. In Canada they would have announced on Monday that the freeway might remain closed for the foreseeable future, due to coffee breaks, holiday scheduling, bickering between municipalities, and that Joe the foreman lost his hard hat and can't find it. Possible completion would likely be set for Christmas shopping or Easter of 2013 er, 2015.
Further complications might be added because of non Christian groups protesting the Christmas and Easter dates being used.
And the cost over-runs would have amounted to a third billion dollars being added to taxpayers property assessments to go along with the user fees which would have already risen from the 25 dollars per mile because of wage demands of the toll takers and the cost of the special photo radar camera transponders needed to keep track of drivers and their speeds.
The Canadian contractors would be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of having construction work well into the decade and would have set up extra billing departments to keep the Government cheques coming in, anticipating penalties against the cities for late payments at a cost of 10,000 dollars per hour.
When and if the freeway finally opened again, there would be stretches where work was still going on or parts that needed repair because of uneven paving or potholes or heavy equipment still parked in traffic lanes. There would be one particularly bad bump where they had paved over Foreman Joe's hard hat.
Police would be disappointed in their take because speeds over 22 miles per hour, (35.40557 Kilograms per hour for our American friends) were impossible to attain.
Translink would announce a rethink of the design from blacktop to concrete to plastic, all of which would cost taxpayers at least one more room of their houses.
And the new mayors would all deny any responsibility for the catastrophe, since dubbed Apocarlypse Now. 

Americans know how to do stuff.

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