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(The Daily Beast)   Want to raise a bridge over a key shipping lane? First you'll need 47 permits from 19 different federal agencies, each of which is utterly essential and to remove even one from the decision chain would be total Somalia   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 138
    More: Obvious, Bull Connor, shipping lanes, Jacob Sullum, New York Harbor, social insurances, Panama Canal  
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6648 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Apr 2014 at 4:41 PM (15 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



138 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-04-10 12:05:54 PM
DNRTFA but the statement in the headline is actually pretty solid. Bridges are great when everything is right but when one thing goes wrong it turns catastrophic. Quickly.
 
2014-04-10 12:30:49 PM

unlikely: DNRTFA but the statement in the headline is actually pretty solid. Bridges are great when everything is right but when one thing goes wrong it turns catastrophic. Quickly.


I got about halfway through. Basically they want to revamp a bridge along NY/NJ to make room for bigger shipping containers, and, shockingly, a project that involves water, land, the NJ government, the NY government, the Port Authority, the Coast Guard, and the Federal government can't just get the go ahead from one person.
 
2014-04-10 12:35:02 PM
"All we want to do is start a multi-billion dollar construction project that affects two states and several major shipping/transportation corridors, and will employ thousands of people for several years... why can't we just rubber stamp this thing and get started?!"
 
2014-04-10 12:41:43 PM

nmrsnr: unlikely: DNRTFA but the statement in the headline is actually pretty solid. Bridges are great when everything is right but when one thing goes wrong it turns catastrophic. Quickly.

I got about halfway through. Basically they want to revamp a bridge along NY/NJ to make room for bigger shipping containers, and, shockingly, a project that involves water, land, the NJ government, the NY government, the Port Authority, the Coast Guard, and the Federal government can't just get the go ahead from one person.


Shocking.
 
2014-04-10 12:44:57 PM
There are a lot of hoops to jump through when your project could potentially disastrously  affect millions of people?  I can't imagine why.

And nineteen seems low to me.

The only one he mentions is the EPA,  if you are building a large scale project in the water, having them review your plans hardly out of line.  If you build it without their review and you destroy some poor fisherman's livelihood, you there would be screaming as to why it wasn't reviewed.  If traffic is re-routed you have to plan, etc.
 
2014-04-10 12:45:53 PM
Screw the permitting process, I can't imagine all the engineering that would be required to elevate the roadbed on a bridge.  It's not like you're just adding another shelf to your Ikea bookcase.
 
2014-04-10 12:52:46 PM

nmrsnr: Basically they want to revamp a bridge along NY/NJ to make room for bigger shipping containers, and, shockingly, a project that involves water, land, the NJ government, the NY government, the Port Authority, the Coast Guard, and the Federal government can't just get the go ahead from one person.


Some people have a really hard time with complexity.  And rules.  And common sense.  And a lot of other things too.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-04-10 12:57:04 PM

Gordian Cipher: "All we want to do is start a multi-billion dollar construction project that affects two states and several major shipping/transportation corridors, and will employ thousands of people for several years... why can't we just rubber stamp this thing and get started?!"


We can always tear it down and rebuild it if it turns out that we didn't plan it properly.

Measure once and cut ten times right?
 
2014-04-10 01:25:22 PM
a smart project manager came up with the idea of raising the roadway on the existing bridge by about 100 feet

Do project managers in the bridge construction business have the same level of engineering knowledge that they have in the software business?  Because I will never ever drive on or boat under that bridge if that is the case.
 
2014-04-10 01:39:08 PM
my reaction to this article.

bla bla bla bla new york bla bla new jersey bla fark who cares bla
 
2014-04-10 02:55:50 PM

serial_crusher: a smart project manager came up with the idea of raising the roadway on the existing bridge by about 100 feet

Do project managers in the bridge construction business have the same level of engineering knowledge that they have in the software business?  Because I will never ever drive on or boat under that bridge if that is the case.


We are big picture guys, we leave the details to the geeks.
 
2014-04-10 03:03:07 PM
Just oversee things the Freedom Industries way!
 
2014-04-10 03:07:15 PM

BizarreMan: Screw the permitting process, I can't imagine all the engineering that would be required to elevate the roadbed on a bridge.  It's not like you're just adding another shelf to your Ikea bookcase.


just another example of the job-killing regulations of physics
 
2014-04-10 03:08:03 PM
Did he really just biatch about out of control infrastructure spending? What country is he living in?
 
2014-04-10 03:41:46 PM

nmrsnr: unlikely: DNRTFA but the statement in the headline is actually pretty solid. Bridges are great when everything is right but when one thing goes wrong it turns catastrophic. Quickly.

I got about halfway through. Basically they want to revamp a bridge along NY/NJ to make room for bigger shipping containers, and, shockingly, a project that involves water, land, the NJ government, the NY government, the Port Authority, the Coast Guard, and the Federal government can't just get the go ahead from one person.


well

"That was 2009," writes Howard. "At the beginning of 2013, the Port still lacked approval to start construction.  It remains far from clear that the project will be completed by 2015, when the new and improved Panama Canal opens for business and the bigger and taller container ships start sailing the ocean blue.

starting in 2015 the ships won't fit.  so either one catastrophe or another.
 
2014-04-10 03:42:41 PM
would be total Somalia

It's good to see that you guys got an original meme.  Fark Libs was just terrible.  It's like you completely missed what make Fark Independent a joke.
 
2014-04-10 03:57:01 PM

SlothB77: starting in 2015 the ships won't fit. so either one catastrophe or another.


I'm not sure if I would consider ships not fitting a catastrophe.  Bridge falling down, definitely a problem.

What I find funny as hell is that they started the project in 2009 and hoped to have it completed by 2015.  Really?
 
2014-04-10 03:58:30 PM

Rapmaster2000: Fark Libs was just terrible.  It's like you completely missed what make Fark Independent a joke.


conservative cargo cult humor
 
2014-04-10 04:25:21 PM

BizarreMan: Screw the permitting process, I can't imagine all the engineering that would be required to elevate the roadbed on a bridge.  It's not like you're just adding another shelf to your Ikea bookcase.


I certainly hope not.  That cheap Swedish crap would fall to pieces if you did that.
 
2014-04-10 04:39:37 PM
Do there need to be so many agencies involved? maybe. Would stream lining the process dip us into an ungovernable mess? maybe. Is trying to bring up somalia miss the whole point of that meme? yes.
 
2014-04-10 04:44:56 PM
I complain the most about things I can't begin to fathom.

Mostly, I just like to complain, and I know my friends will listen to my complaints if they don't understand what's going on either.
 
2014-04-10 04:45:02 PM
Well thats nice they want to build a new bridge but how about maintaining the old stuff so it wont collapse.
 
2014-04-10 04:45:22 PM

Fark it, it's just a bridge.

What could go wrong?



37.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-04-10 04:46:30 PM
Sounds expensive. You know what's really expensive? Shipping delays, clean up, lawsuits, and lost productivity when the shoddy bridge you built collapses into the river.
 
2014-04-10 04:48:09 PM
"Under current orthodoxy," writes Howard, "the ideal government runs like a software program"

The working bits are all DLC.
 
2014-04-10 04:49:24 PM
So it's an entity that displays irreducible complexity, and is therefore intelligently designed?
 
2014-04-10 04:50:04 PM
IN other news the Earth is Round
 
2014-04-10 04:52:07 PM
I'd forgotten the Panama Canal was getting an upgrade. Does anyone know where they're going to get the additional water to run these new uber locks?
 
2014-04-10 04:52:27 PM

zerkalo: Sounds expensive. You know what's really expensive? Shipping delays, clean up, lawsuits, and lost productivity when the shoddy bridge you built collapses into the river.


At which point people will point to it as government incompetence.
 
2014-04-10 04:52:32 PM
Flood the bilges and coast under.

/not a sailor
 
2014-04-10 04:52:49 PM
Hey Subby!

Hi!

I an engineer/project manager who spent ten years working with a heavy highway and tunneling contractor.  I've built several bridges.

You're an idiot.

Love, Hamster.

CSB:
So I built a bridge over a set of railroad tracks that was 1 foot too low once.  It was NOT my fault.
 
2014-04-10 04:52:50 PM
This is why the right is so mad that Obama is granting common sense extension to the ACA.
The right wants to project a naritive of a government with no compassion and no common sense. They want you to think the government will follow any law no matter how dumb or how it affects you. Then they want you to elect them to get rid of government.
Obama by making some small changes (that are perfectly legal) basically smacks this naritive in the face and says that the government can help you and does have common sense.
 
2014-04-10 04:53:35 PM
Back in my day, we would've just built that bridge with moxie and elbow grease before anyone could stop us.

/wtf is elbow grease?
 
2014-04-10 04:54:21 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Hey Subby!

Hi!

I an engineer/project manager who spent ten years working with a heavy highway and tunneling contractor.  I've built several bridges.

You're an idiot.

Love, Hamster.

CSB:
So I built a bridge over a set of railroad tracks that was 1 foot too low once.  It was NOT my fault.


Did you discover the bridge was too low in the normal way, or the boring way?
 
2014-04-10 04:55:16 PM
Wonder how many layers of lead paint is on that thing.....
 
2014-04-10 04:56:06 PM
Don't we have an entire (private) industry of navigators to help entities wind their way through the permitting process?
 
2014-04-10 04:56:34 PM

qorkfiend: Satanic_Hamster: Hey Subby!

Hi!

I an engineer/project manager who spent ten years working with a heavy highway and tunneling contractor.  I've built several bridges.

You're an idiot.

Love, Hamster.

CSB:
So I built a bridge over a set of railroad tracks that was 1 foot too low once.  It was NOT my fault.

Did you discover the bridge was too low in the normal way, or the boring way?


Yeah, that story requires more details. I'm sort of imagining the 11'8" bridge.
 
2014-04-10 04:56:37 PM

ReverendJynxed: Flood the bilges and coast under.

/not a sailor


Loose the sheets on the mizzenmast and heave to
 
2014-04-10 04:56:40 PM

qorkfiend: Did you discover the bridge was too low in the normal way, or the boring way?


Before we set the forms for the bridge deck pour but after we had all seven 274' box girder beams in place.  Our surveyor was checking the top of steel elevators so we'd know how thick to pour the deck when this was discovered.
 
2014-04-10 04:56:58 PM

Cdr.Murdock: Wonder how many layers of lead paint is on that thing.....


Enough to feed the homeless.
 
2014-04-10 04:57:02 PM

BizarreMan: I'm not sure if I would consider ships not fitting a catastrophe.


Lemme see...ships not fitting into one of the world's largest ports...not a catastrophe?

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

And we don't have to worry about losing the Boston gig because it's not a big college town, amirite?

BizarreMan: I can't imagine all the engineering that would be required to elevate the roadbed on a bridge.


That part they figured out.

And here's a good wrapup of the pointless hoop-jumping associated with the project - which did not include having to answer to the contention that improving infrastructure is racist.

I eagerly await the explanation from Sensible Moderate Farkers as to why the project had to wait until an Indian tribe from Oklahoma (and 49 other tribes) weighed in just in case this...

matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com

...was holy ground or something.
 
2014-04-10 04:57:27 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Hey Subby!

Hi!

I an engineer/project manager who spent ten years working with a heavy highway and tunneling contractor.  I've built several bridges.

You're an idiot.

Love, Hamster.

CSB:
So I built a bridge over a set of railroad tracks that was 1 foot too low once.  It was NOT my fault.


No problem, they can just let the air out of the tires...

/yes, I know HR people that dumb
 
2014-04-10 04:57:34 PM
Ok. We have:

The EPA to make sure the turtles and fishies won't be impacted too heavily.

The Transportation Department to make sure that the bridge has a safe design and to coordinate traffic changes and new on ramps.

DHS - to make sure you can't take down the bridge with an M80.

Coast Guard - To make sure the bridge clearance is high enough for shipping traffic and that you have lights on the bridge.

FAA - to make sure you have lights on the bridge.

What are the other 14 departments?
 
2014-04-10 04:57:45 PM

Satanic_Hamster: qorkfiend: Did you discover the bridge was too low in the normal way, or the boring way?

Before we set the forms for the bridge deck pour but after we had all seven 274' box girder beams in place.  Our surveyor was checking the top of steel elevators so we'd know how thick to pour the deck when this was discovered.


Er.  Elevations.  Not elevators.
 
2014-04-10 04:58:54 PM

Maud Dib: Fark it, it's just a bridge.What could go wrong?

[37.media.tumblr.com image 500x370]


We learned about that bridge collapse in our Acoustics for Hung-Over English Majors class (5 natural science credits, and no math!). It seems that the wind coming down the Tacoma Narrows just happened to blow across that bridge as though it were a clarinet reed, and it just happened to be energetic enough to start the bridge resonating at its natural frequency (nowadays, there would be dampening effects built into the bridge design, but in those days not so much).

My favorite thing, though, was when someone turned that footage into a car stereo commercial.
 
2014-04-10 04:59:18 PM

nmrsnr: unlikely: DNRTFA but the statement in the headline is actually pretty solid. Bridges are great when everything is right but when one thing goes wrong it turns catastrophic. Quickly.

I got about halfway through. Basically they want to revamp a bridge along NY/NJ to make room for bigger shipping containers, and, shockingly, a project that involves water, land, the NJ government, the NY government, the Port Authority, the Coast Guard, and the Federal government can't just get the go ahead from one person.


The project couldn't even get the go ahead from one person in each department, instead the permits are authorized by endless studies and committees. The point of the article is that nobody is in charge of anything and the machinery of the bureaucracy grinds on oblivious of everything even elected officials. We're reaching a point where infrastructure projects are spending longer getting authorized than it takes to actually build them.
 
2014-04-10 05:01:26 PM

To The Escape Zeppelin!: The project couldn't even get the go ahead from one person in each department, instead the permits are authorized by endless studies and committees. The point of the article is that nobody is in charge of anything and the machinery of the bureaucracy grinds on oblivious of everything even elected officials. We're reaching a point where infrastructure projects are spending longer getting authorized than it takes to actually build them.


It's almost like bridges are complex things.

And the article is a lie; the owning agency (Port Authority) is in charge of everything and will coordinate the approval process.
 
2014-04-10 05:01:46 PM
shimmie.shishnet.org
 
2014-04-10 05:01:58 PM
20 agencies sure seems like a lot. But is it too many? Does the author have a plan that explains how this bridge can:

-be built safely?
-meet the needs of the people using the bridge?
-meet the needs of the people who will pass under the bridge?
-remedy or mitigate traffic congestion while the bridge is closed?
-remedy or mitigate supply chain issues while the shipping lane is closed?
-ensure that the construction process doesn't turn the shipping lane into toxic sludge?
-ensure that the contractors clean the site up post construction?
- ensure that after construction the bridge is built to specifications and designate who is to sign off on the punch list and completion of contract?

That doesn't even get into any noise mitigation or contractors having to certify that they don't hire illegal labor.

It's easy to point and go "GAH!" Nick Gillespie excels at it. It's tougher to actually come up with a solution. And no "no contractor would ever do anything less than their absolute best because market" is not a solution.
 
2014-04-10 05:04:19 PM
For starters... it is only the shipping companies that are screaming that these new uber ships are AN ABSOLUTE AND UTTER REQUIREMENT. They built them knowing full well what the restrictions would be trying to get the damn thing through the Suez or Panama canal, the height restrictions imposed by major bridges, and the limitations of the gantry equipment in the ports.

But they built them anyway.

Are they offering a nickel to dredge the harbors? No. Are they paying to upgrade the cranes? No. They expect that to be handed to them on a silver platter. Because reasons.

Now, if I built an airplane that required a 10 mile runway, and wouldn't fit in any current terminal built to accommodate aircraft, I would be laughed and an mocked. Deservedly.
 
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