Pushing a $3 bil. Transbay Terminal

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$5.8 bil. for the Bay Bridge &
still pushing a $3 billion Transbay Terminal ?
($3 billion, SO FAR ! )

The East Side of the Bay Bridge is actually 2 bridges -- nearly two miles of Twin concrete Viaducts reaching west from Oakland and the Replacement of the East Span, a single-tower suspension span connecting to Yerba Buena Island. Both now totalling $4.4 billion (from $2.6 bil. in 2001), http://www.donaldmacdonaldarchitects.com/SFOBB/SFOBB_east1.html

"The cost-benefit ratio of the Transbay Terminal is really absurd," said Bill Blackwell, a retired Bechtel architect, who contends that the new terminal costs aren't justified by the improvements for transit riders. "People seem to think we need a new monument," Blackwell said. "We don't need a fancy new terminal. It doesn't do anything to enhance transit use."

For that kind of money we should be doing SOMETHING that will actually relieve Traffic Congestion.
Instead of spending $3 billion (prob $7 bil.) on a
cost-ineffective Transbay Terminal,

( A statewide high-speed rail bond set for the November 2004 election, would contribute $127 million. )

lets spend it on something that will
directly reduce CONGESTION and air-pollution - the
19th Ave Tunnel bypass  

Caltrans,  said the estimated COST of retrofitting or replacing 7 state toll bridges, including five in the Bay Area, climbed from:-
  • $2.6 billion in 1997
  • to $4.7 billion in 2001 (although SF. Chron says 5.1 )
  • to $7.4 billion Aug 2004 (not including a $900 million contingency for future overruns)
  • The bulk of those increases  from $4.7 to $7.4 bil.-- (all but $286 million and $700 mil. on the western span) -- were on the new Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge and 53% of that on the selection of the single-tower suspension bridge, unusual features and orthrotropic steel boxes, totalling $4.4 bil for the East Side alone. The remainder of the East Side overruns (47%) are attributable to increases in the costs of steel, cement, bonding and insurance, and consolidation in the bridge construction industry.

    The cost for the East Span was estimated at $1.3 billion before 2001 to $2.6 in 2001 to $4.4 bil. 2004, ($1.4 bil. for the west side and $1.6 bil. for the 6 other bridges). Caltrans acknowledged that the cost had risen because of bad estimates and design-caused delays.

    The 2004, $7.4 billion COST estimate to retrofit
    state-owned toll Bridges

    including fixing the east & west side of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is:-

    mils. $
    Bridge (data fixed from SF Chron.) 2001
    mils. $
    not  5,130
    East Side of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was $1,300 mil. before, then $2,600 mil
    not $737
    West Side of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge retrofit, as a lifeline bridge was $700 mil then $737 mil.
    $180 Benicia-Martinez Bridge retrofit $190
    $115 north span of the Carquinez retrofit $125
    $914 Richmond-San Rafael Bridge retrofit $665
    $165 San Mateo-Hayward Bridge retrofit $190
    $62 San Pedro-Terminal Island Bridge retrofit $62
    $105 San Diego-Coronado Bridge retrofit $105
    7,400 TOTAL   4,674
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: "It is Bay Area taxpayers sole responsibility for meeting an estimated $2.3 billion in cost overruns to complete the Bay Bridge project":
  • Appoint an independent auditor to find out why it has taken 15 years to complete the seismic retrofit, which includes constructing a new eastern span. (2 years solely attributable to Willie Brown)
  • Nov. 2 ballot could ask Bay Area voters to redirect the existing $1 Toll Increase to cover the bridge overruns ( OR the Metripolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) could divert already allotted state funds for other projects to the bridge )
  • Transfer responsibility for the retrofit project to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, MTC.
  • Caltrans expected bids from two joint ventures and possibly a third. “I’m surprised we only got one bid,” adds the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, “I do not know why the contractors were on the sidelines on this project.”

    Sources close to the bidding say a joint venture of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc., Omaha, and Skanska Inc., Whitestone, N.Y., was another contender as late as one month before the bid opening, but it did not ultimately bid. “We were interested,” says Bruce Grewcock, Peter Kiewit chief operating officer.

    Kiewit itself was the sole bidder for an earlier bridge foundation contract last year, which came in 63% over estimate (ENR 11/3/03 p. 10). The firm had won the job in a rebid, with too low a figure.

    Bidding executives point to the gyrating steel market for a structure whose unique design and construction specs could require as much as 100 million lb of permanent steel and another 40 million lb of temporary steel falsework, says Cagelis. “Individual pieces get very large,” he notes. “You have to do it perfect the first time.”

    Other reasons: Seismic requirements and location across a fault line, tight tolerances, tough quality demands.

    Because the self-anchored suspension span is specified by state legislation authorizing the bridge, legislative approval would be required if Caltrans switched bridge types. “The best way to complete the bridge is to stick with the bridge type and get to a point where you’re ready to go,” McElhinney says. “Any additional time added to the schedule is cost added to the structure.” Some speculate that significant redesign could add up to four years to completion.

    Twin concrete Viaducts

    This could be an ideal opportunity to
    cut 80% from the spending of the $1 Toll Increase
    cut projects that will make relatively no difference to
    Traffic Congestion.

    With little change to Traffic Congestion 80% of the $'s, from the existing, new $1 bridge toll increase, could be re-directed towards the bridge with little effect on congestion. (Of course we still don't want the State to renege from paying their half too, Arnold):-

  • $787 on RAIL including:
  • $150 downtown Caltrain extension in San Francisco
  • $143 BART Transbay Tube seismic strengthening
  • $135 Commuter rail service over Dumbarton rail bridge
  • $96 BART extension from Pittsburg/Baypoint station east to Byron
  • $95 BART extension to Warm Springs
  • $35 "SMART" Rail Marin
  • $107 FERRY
  • $168 Other Transit

    Contact your representatives click on "Find my District"
  • the 20% Spending from the $1 Bridge Toll that DOES
    Reduce Congestion Cost Effectively:-

  • $65 I-580 rapid bus corridor improvements in Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore
  • Interchange improvement at U.S. 101 and Larkspur ferry
  • $35 Greenbrae Interchange
  • $100 I-680/I-80/Highway 12 interchange improvements in Solano County incl some of the following:
  • $50 Benicia-Martinez Bridge: New Span
  • $50 Interstate-80: Eastbound High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Extension from Route 4 to Carquinez Bridge
  • $50 Caldecott Tunnel Improvements. Provide funds to plan and construct a fourth bore
  • $20 Solano County Express Bus. Curtola Park and Ride, Benicia Intermodal Facility, Fairfield Transportation Center and Vacaville Intermodal Station
  • $65 AC connection to BART. Enhanced Bus-Phase 1 (International Blvd./Telegraph corridors)
  • $22 Express Bus Service for San Mateo, Dumbarton, and Bay Bridge
  • Regional Express Bus - Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, Carquinez, Benicia-Martinez and Antioch Bridge corridors.
  • The Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, http://www.bth.ca.gov oversees CALTRANS. State law prohibits Caltrans from accepting bids when it doesn't have the money on hand to cover the full cost. Even if the voters approve paying for it out of the new, existing $1 bridge toll in November election, Caltrans would not have the money when the bid for the sleek new design expires in September, (expiration of the lone bid for the single-tower suspension section of the new bridge).

    A joint venture of American Bridge, http://www.americanbridge.net/locations/cory.php Nippon Steel Bridge and Fluor Corp. submitted a bid for the Western Side Retrofit in May 2004 of $1.8 billion using domestic steel -- ($1.4 billion if foreign steel is allowed). The bid far exceeded Caltrans' estimate of $740 million. because of the unique design, tough schedule, strict specifications and likely flaws in developing and communicating the engineer’s estimate. Caltrans also extended the construction schedule by 15 months.

    As Caltrans evaluates a $1.4 billion bid for the Western Retrofit, the bidder is arguing against looking at any other bids. Another bid would delay the project and boost costs, perhaps by hundreds of millions of dollars, the lone bidder says.

    A new bidding process will delay the project a year beyond the estimated 2010 ribbon cutting. U.S. trade regulations could add hundreds of millions of dollars to the project cost. Federal rules require the use of domestic steel, unless the price tag is 25 percent less with foreign steel - so the lower bid (1.4) will prevail in this case. However, if the bidding reopens, current foreign steel prices would allow domestic suppliers to beat the foreign steel bid.
    (Caltrans has reopened bids in the past and received lower domestic cost estimates, still higher than foreign but now within the 25%). SF Chron Article http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/08/17/MNGPB89CQ01.DTL  

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