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Author Topic: Interstate 81 in Syracuse  (Read 42262 times)

froggie

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #500 on: May 15, 2019, 07:20:17 PM »

Quote from: signalman
Bottom line is that people want nice things, but no one wants to pay for them.

This.  A thousand times this.  And this is in no small part why we're in this infrastructure mess.
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Duke87

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #501 on: May 15, 2019, 07:30:26 PM »

But what, exactly, establishes a prevailing wage?

It's based on surveys of workers in individual trades and what they're getting paid - the "prevailing" wage is defined as what the majority of workers in the given trade make per hour in the given area. If no single rate is the majority, then the prevailing wage is defined as the average wage for the given trade in the given area.

What this effectively does is, if the majority of workers in the given trade in the given area are unionized, you are required to pay your workers at the standard union pay rate on this job even if the workers you've hired are non-union and would otherwise be paid less.

If unions are not prevalent in the given area, then all it really does is say you can't pay your workers below average, and the impact it has on labor costs will be fairly minimal.

Quote
My argument is that there are really only two places where project costs can be controlled, labor costs and corporate profits. Material costs are pretty much going to remain the same no matter which contractor gets the job. Even with labor costs set by law, it's sometimes amazing how much difference there can be in project bids.

There's another variable here that is important not to neglect - labor costs are not set by law, hourly labor rates are. You can still reduce costs if you are able to successfully complete the job using fewer man-hours of labor. I can tell you that in New York there is a lot of unrealized opportunity to do this because of arcane union work rules (set by collective bargaining agreement, not by law) that end up requiring more workers to be present on a jobsite than are actually necessary.

Well, to put things in perspective:

Eventually, the two unions worked out a deal in which the dockbuilders, who earn $92.47 an hour in wages and benefits, would be assigned the work.

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/tappan-zee-bridge/2015/10/23/tappan-zee-builder-wins-again-union-wage-dispute/74454228/

Emphasis on "wages and benefits" - that figure includes the cost of things like health and dental insurance, disability insurance, vacation time, paid family leave, as well as the cost of any pension or retirement plan the workers have.

What they're actually getting paid in wages alone is probably half of that figure, so say $46.23 per hour. Which works out to about $96k a year with no overtime. This may sound like a lot but with what the cost of living is in downstate NY, it really isn't.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 07:38:03 PM by Duke87 »
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #502 on: May 15, 2019, 11:26:08 PM »

Alt. 3 would be very similar to the $240 million I-895 Canton Viaduct replacement under construction in Baltimore which is also 0.9 miles and with 4 lanes and full right shoulders, plus in a northern unionized city where the construction costs should be fairly similar.
It doesn't have 6 lanes over the majority of it - it's 6 to exit 18, 4 within exit 18 (where the majority of the viaduct is), and then you're in the I-690 interchange.  I-81 south even goes down to one lane just past the ramp from I-690 east.

True, I see that the northern end of about 0.3 mile has 2 lanes each way with minimal shoulders.

The I-895 Canton Viaduct replacement will have 2 lanes each way and full right shoulders.
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Scott M. Kozel
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #503 on: May 16, 2019, 03:58:18 PM »

At the rate everything is going the solution will be "tear the Viaduct down and do nothing else. Route I-81 around Syracuse". The city will be stuck with a giant strip of land devoid of anything because no one is willing to compromise.  That is what NIMBY'S deserve.
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kalvado

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #504 on: May 16, 2019, 05:01:10 PM »

At the rate everything is going the solution will be "tear the Viaduct down and do nothing else. Route I-81 around Syracuse". The city will be stuck with a giant strip of land devoid of anything because no one is willing to compromise.  That is what NIMBY'S deserve.
Don't think so. When - or if - NYSDOT starts the job, things will go reasonably. It is about getting the project going before viaduct collapses.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #505 on: May 16, 2019, 07:24:54 PM »

At the rate everything is going the solution will be "tear the Viaduct down and do nothing else. Route I-81 around Syracuse". The city will be stuck with a giant strip of land devoid of anything because no one is willing to compromise.  That is what NIMBY'S deserve.

So $1.9 billion for the project that will tear a major chunk out of the freeway system, and $2.2 billion for the project that would provide the replacement of the freeway bridges and the improvement of the I-81/I-690 interchange area?   So seppuku costs 14% less than the full modernization... it's cheaper to commit seppuku.
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Scott M. Kozel
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #506 on: May 16, 2019, 08:41:54 PM »

At the rate everything is going the solution will be "tear the Viaduct down and do nothing else. Route I-81 around Syracuse". The city will be stuck with a giant strip of land devoid of anything because no one is willing to compromise.  That is what NIMBY'S deserve.

So $1.9 billion for the project that will tear a major chunk out of the freeway system, and $2.2 billion for the project that would provide the replacement of the freeway bridges and the improvement of the I-81/I-690 interchange area?   So seppuku costs 14% less than the full modernization... it's cheaper to commit seppuku.
NYSDOT is cowering to the NIMBY and not seeing sense.

Foolish of them.

Biggest waste of taxpayer money, or any money for that sense.

If a community grid was 90% cheaper, I could see it. But $1.9 billion is a lot of money for.... nothing. $2.2 billion would keep a high-capacity, high-speed urban freeway in place, replace it and make it safer, wider, and more reliable, and provide traffic improvements with a major interchange reconstruction.
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Beltway

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #507 on: May 16, 2019, 09:14:29 PM »

NYSDOT is cowering to the NIMBY and not seeing sense.
Foolish of them.
Biggest waste of taxpayer money, or any money for that sense.
If a community grid was 90% cheaper, I could see it. But $1.9 billion is a lot of money for.... nothing. $2.2 billion would keep a high-capacity, high-speed urban freeway in place, replace it and make it safer, wider, and more reliable, and provide traffic improvements with a major interchange reconstruction.

Like they say a billion dollars is not what it used to be, due to years and years of cost inflation, but it is still a big chunk of change.

$1.9 billion was 50% of the cost of the new Tappan Zee Bridge, and that certainly was a needed replacement that was much wider.

Where are the "Taxpayers for Common Sense" when you need them?
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Scott M. Kozel
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Mccojm

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #508 on: May 22, 2019, 02:14:38 PM »

Main Office will probably make the call.  At the very least, Region 7 will also be affected, and I don't think the regions have the authority to change an existing road from sequential to mile-based numbers anyways.  I think I heard from someone that, were it up to the Regions, Upstate NY (minus the Thruway) would have switched to mile-based exit numbers years if not decades ago.

What about Long Island? seems like down here is going to be the last part of the state to switch to mileage exits. We still dont have proper mile markers like the rest of the state.

I always wondered why we donít and if we ever will have proper mile post signs on our highways on Long Island. Reference markers donít mean anything to general public and the system in itself used by DOT is shady when many are missing, damaged, overgrown by brush. If we had proper mike posts it would be so much easier for all and for us who need to reference a point on roads whether for construction reports or maintenance work or project planning.
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seicer

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #509 on: July 30, 2019, 02:45:05 PM »

A great piece about the I-81 project in Syracuse - the highway that was supposed to save the city, can tearing it down fix the sins of the past? (It's by Jalopnik, an auto-centered site.)

The Highway Was Supposed to Save This City. Can Tearing It Down Fix the Sins of the Past?
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webny99

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #510 on: July 30, 2019, 03:09:23 PM »

You're right, that is a great piece. I don't necessarily agree with everything in it, particularly the inference that all opponents of the grid are inherently racist, but it is a really good overview of the fundamentals at play with this project, whatever happens.
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Duke87

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #511 on: August 02, 2019, 05:38:30 PM »

Quote
ďThe removal of the highway has the potential to essentially repeat the same outcomes that the construction of the highways had,Ē Crowther said. The viaduct has acted as a border that prevented the more gradual flow of economic opportunity seeping outwards from the university, downtown, and hospitals in recent years. Once that barrier is removed, residents expect it to cause a shockwave of higher property taxes and rising rents, which current residents are unlikely to be able to afford.

And this is someone from the Congress for New Urbanism talking!

This is one of the exact points I keep making about these types of projects - yes, the placement of the viaduct when it was first built had some absolutely racist motives, it was deliberately routed to destroy the local black neighborhood. But this is not a reversible process; tearing the viaduct down will not restore the neighborhood to as it was 60 years ago before it was built, if anything it will only be followed by a wave of gentrification that will once more result in low-income black families being displaced from their homes.

If anything, a viaduct teardown repeats the sins of the past as far as racial justice goes.
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