Why does road construction take so long


I drive the Ohio Turnpike on a regular basis. It currently has a couple stretches of construction I drive through. I completely understand that repairs/replacement of our highways must be done. These questions apply to the turnpike as well as any other road construction. Why does it take so long? Why do the sites sit idle on weekends, late afternoons, early evenings when there's still daylight? Shouldn't this projects run from sun-up til sun-down 7 days a week? It would be beneficial to the general driving public and especially to commerce to get these projects done as soon as possible.

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Completed last year, if memory serves. Beautiful day after beautiful day would go by with no workers to be seen. Then toward the end of the project, there was frenzied activity.

I figured this non-activity & then later activity was covered by the following saying a self-described construction guy once posted on another blog:

"A thousand a week to play hide and seek".

Too often, government gets blamed for the faulty work of private sector businesses. BTW...before I logged 35 years in public education, I worked for 15 years in the private sector. While most of that was working with my fahter in a VERY small mom and pop jewelry store, I often worked a second job in the summers I did not take classes.

There is a general attitude, which has not seemed to change over the years, that if a company is doing a job for a governmental agency, they operate with a lower set of standards than they do if they work for another private firm. There's something about many private companies receiving our tax dollars that makes their owners/managers/supervisors take the attitude that the work will get done when it gets done, and if it's not up to good quality standards, so what?

We've all traveled on roads which have been newly repaired or repaved, and start to have serious structural problems within a few months of the completion of the job. Contracts can be written which require that road work be done in non-peak hours too. There are often clauses which penalize companies for going past deadlines. That's why one often sees projects lay fallow for long periods of time, then we observe the company's workers working furiously for a limited time. The construction companies move crews from project to project near their deadlines. This rushed work often leads to shoddy work as well.

I'll give a concrete (forgive the pun) example. I taught at DeVeaux. I was moved to the new DeVeaux when it opened -- a brand new building. Within a few months, two of the student water fountain areas out of only three in the entire building were turned off because of serious leaks! These were BRAND NEW FIXTURES! Oops! Put sabotage or vandalism out of your mind. There are cameras at DeVeaux, which showed nothing unusual. Both the building operator and the repair people confirmed this as well.

With my business background, I can speculate what is going on. When working on a project for a private company or private individual, construction companies worry about the quality of their work, because a happy customer may use that company again or recommend that company to others. However, the current pressure on governments forces them to ALWAYS give work to the lowest bidder on a project. Cutting corners is encouraged because the governmental customer often doesn't have the flexibility to select a higher bid on a project based upon past work.

Governments are made up of human beings, as are private businesses. Both screw things up. I accept that government screws up. Too many believe that ONLY government screws up. Remember, the Great Depression occurred when governments in this country were tiny and the private sector had virtually no one restraining it.

I love reading your Communist manifestos. They all end the same: You want more government. Either you say it directly or you imply it.

Did you really pollute the minds of our youth with this Liberal propaganda of yours that the private sector was responsible for the GDI? Government did everything it could in the 1930s to deepen and lengthen the GDI. This is such a well-established fact that hearing your blather about it differently is almost beyond belief.

What's the income tax? Is the income tax a creation of the private sector? What's the Federal Reserve? Another private sector thing? The GDI was in motion since 1913 and was purely a result of government wanting it to happen. Really, you have no idea what caused the GDI, and you certainly can't admit what caused our current GDII: The horrific partnership of big businesses and government at all levels.

The truth about business is that it's selfish. Hence it needs to be regulated without exception and punished when necessary. But your particular failing is in believing that government shares no blame when it blatantly partners with the selfish goals of businesses. Selfish businesses can be controlled by public avoidance... but when you insist on having a massive government that constantly partners with businesses, then the people can't avoid those businesses. Business profits become government mandated.

Today, we have a federal government that is provably 12 times larger than it should have been. Knowing facts from 1940 to 2007, I can easily prove that's so, and I've done so in several other postings here. Since states play the "me too" game, they are similarly bloated. I hardly need to mention about the bloated condition of Toledo city government. So our governments are literally killing us.

The only possible fix is less government. Government needs to do less, and that includes hiring companies to do things for it. Our governments have 'hidden' some of their bloat with contractors. That's what's really happening with road construction. That's also why we use asphalt so heavily; it keep the contractors coming back out to repair the roads.

The original post was talking about the Ohio Turnpike.
And the lie came up saying "All of this work is done by the PRIVATE SECTOR!!"

When anyone who has ever listened to any news knows that ALL work done, ALL tolls taken, ANYTHING TO DO WITH the Ohio Turnpike is done by Union members.
And ALL construction done on the Ohio Turnpike is managed by the Ohio Turnpike Comission.

"The commission is empowered to construct, maintain and operate turnpike projects at such locations as are approved by the governor and in accordance with standards approved by the director of highways for the benefit of the people of the state and for the purpose of improving traffic conditions in the state, promote the agricultural and industrial development of the state and to provide for the general welfare. Whenever all of the bonds and the interest thereon of any turnpike project have been paid and the project is in good repair, it shall become part of the state highway system and be maintained free of tolls."

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

I figured the union was involved some how.

And are all of those workers who are playing "hide and seek" and those who can't install plumbing correctly union card holders?


Managements submit proposals. Managements order equipment, tools, and parts. I DID admit that governments make mistakes. Nothing any of you has stated negates the fact that management of PRIVATE SECTOR firms, not only make errors as well, but too often purposely make bids with which they know they can only make a profit by completing government projects on the cheap.

BTW...I was once a part of a movement that went nowhere back in the late 1970s called "Save Our Free Turnpike". A friend and I met with O. L. Teagarden in his Oak Harbor home to ask him to be the Chair of our committee. He was the Turnpike's first Vice Chairman. He agreed to do so. He made it clear to us then that he and James Shocknessy, the first Chair, who was deceased by that time, disagreed on many matters. One thing upon which they agreed completely was that the Turnpike should be free once the bonds were paid,
How much more economic development would have occurred in Northern Ohio if the Turnpike had been treated like every other interstate in Ohio, if it became a free road after the original bonds had been paid?
Now we have a governor who would turn the turnpike over to private firms. What do you think will happen to the tolls then? How has selling the rights to toll roads worked in other states?

I am roundly opposed to privatizing the Turnpike. All examples of such across the states involves selling the asset for a pittance (obviously a crony operation), just so the new owners can jack up the rates and decrease their maintenance obligation.

The Turnpike should never have been a government operation. But since it is, we either keep it that way, or just transform it into a public interstate. These turnpike sales are just scams. We must have learned that from the Russians.

"I DID admit that governments make mistakes."

Not exactly. You said the Great Depression One was pretty much the result of having "tiny" governments in that era. So that's your usual implication that our current, bloated governments are, what, desirable? Useful? Well, useful to the Golden Class like you, with your unionized employment, followed thereafter by a defined-benefit pension for life.

It should have been made CRIME for the government to hand out lifetime pensions after people worked as government employees for 20-30 years. But Liberals infested our government. Well, there's hell to pay for that. Hell is what we're living in now, and it's only going to get hotter.

"Governments are made up of human beings, as are private businesses. Both screw things up." As I stated, I admit that governments make mistakes. Why can't you admit that businesses make mistakes, too?

You and I do have a fundamental disagreement. You trust giant corporations more than you trust government. I trust government more than I trust giant corporations. I don't really like either one! In my mind, as one individual, there is little to nothing one can do to influence giant corporations. I view both unions and democratic governments as counterbalances to the enormous power held by giant corporations. Nothing you have stated here negates the dangers of too much power held by a few extremely wealthy individuals running giant corporations. Both unions and governments were tiny when the economy totally collapsed in The Great Depression. Is there no lesson to be learned from that horrifying experience? Or is it just so long ago we can't comprehend just how bad things can get if we allow businesses to operate without anyone to challenge them?

Our main problem is that we can't get enough common folks to understand just how much they can influence a democratically elected government with their votes! Whether you liked the results or not, the turnout in the French Presidential elections this week was 81%. 81%! 81%!! 81%!!! The turnout for the 2008 U.S. Presidential election was under 57%! Maybe I'm still naive, but I have faith in the combined wisdom of the common American people. I truly believe that if we can get more people involved in the electoral process, we will get better candidates and better elected officials. What do the French know about the electoral process that Americans don't know?

I was a small child when the Turnpike bill was passed. I do know that, at the time it was completed, it was the envy of the nation. My father, who loved to drive fast, absolutely adored the turnpike!

The rest of the State of Ohio pays less to keep up all interstates because the Turnpike has separate funding. While our Toledo tax dollars go to pay for, not only I-75, but also interstates like I-77, I-70, and I-71 which we seldom or never use, why should only Northern Ohioans pay for the turnpike?
As it stands now, the "profits" from the tolls stay in Ohio. But, if the road is sold, where do those profits go? The British call this "penny wise and pound foolish". If the toll road is a good investment for a private firm, why doesn't the State of Ohio keep ownership of it?

"You trust giant corporations more than you trust government."

Look, you keep promoting my ideas as being supporting of the private sector just to support bad people. That's not the case and you're seriously pissing me off by mis-representing my ideas.

I don't trust the corps as far as I can throw them. I've stated MANY times that they must be regulated, and regulated without exception. How the fuck does that transmogrify itself to "trust" in your demented Liberal brain?

What I DO trust, and you clearly don't, is the right and responsibility of the people of these United States to connect or disconnect from these corporations in the so-called free market. We can and DID control monied collectives with our participation or the lack of it. In fact, the system worked so well that when companies used to run into errors and they had to re-state their financials, CEOs would actually resign in shame. (C-level executives don't do that anymore. Re-stating is now a common occurrence, which is one way of saying "corporate fraud is now rife".)

I continue to trust the people of these United States even when it's clear that I'm just pissing in the wind with that trust, since the common man clearly is too afraid or lazy or both, to actually exert himself as a legal citizen and as an economic consumer. We can't trust government to act in our citizen stead, since the corporations took over government and refuse to let that happen.

Naturally, you-- as a direct beneficiary of a bloated and expensive government-- place trust in such a clearly corrupted system.

And you also need to stop opening and closing your cake-hole about the Great Depression One since as we clearly demonstrated to everyone before, you know nothing about the real causes and effects of it. Small though it was, the federal government still did everything it could to support "re-flation" of the 1920s stock bubble, which is well documented. And those re-flation efforts also made the GD1 longer and deeper, which is also well documented. But such documentation never seems to reach Liberal hands such as yours.

How can we "REGULATE WITHOUT EXCEPTION" and continue to shrink government?

How can the actions of any one of us in a so-called "free market", "connect or disconnect from these corporations?"

We can negate the power of giant corporations only when we unite together to elect government representatives who put the people first. And this won't happen unless and until most Americans become knowledgeable and vote. As Thomas Jefferson stated over 200 years ago, "If a nation wants to be ignorant and free, it wants what never was and what never will be."

Dale, the only reason why I actually believe you're this dense, is because you're a Liberal. Liberals ARE this dense. Depleted Uranium isn't even this dense.

"How can we 'REGULATE WITHOUT EXCEPTION' and continue to shrink government?"

To the point: I already outlined numerous times how it's unquestionable that the federal government is about 12 times larger than it needs to be. The federal government grew annually at an average rate of 8-9% for 70 years, whereas the means of supporting that growth (population growth and their income growth) only grew about 3-4%. The difference became our criminally-huge tax loads, and of course our current $15 trillion direct debt.

That means you could cut 92% of the federal government, right now, and be fully compliant with the Constitutional base upon which it was supposed to have been founded and governed. Have you heard of Peter Grace? The CAGW? The documented waste in the federal government isn't even in question here; it's a cold hard fact.

So even with slop in those numbers, you still have huge waste going on in this form of government. So you can cut quite, er, liberally, and end up with a government that can still do its job... said job defined by what's in the U.S. Constitution.

"How can the actions of any one of us in a so-called 'free market', 'connect or disconnect from these corporations?"

Because you're free to buy and sell, or not buy and not sell. By buying and selling, you connect to these corporations. By avoiding buying and selling, you disconnect from these corporations. Corporations that can't connect to people via their collective actions towards that end, enter that condition called BANKRUPTCY. Perhaps you've heard of it.

I can't make this any simpler for a person who's supposed to be a fucking adult, Dale. You seem to believe (as all Communists do) that collective action can't take place on its own; instead, it has to take place under the guidance of party leaders and union leaders and other such worthless parasites. Everything you say is self-serving. You literally can't see (much less mention) a position that isn't in your direct personal benefit as a retired TPS teacher.

fast in the early 90's after an earthquake devastated them !

The general contractor was granted union concessions to do the work 24 / 7 until the work was complete.
Dim politicians were against it and said the union concessions and the monetary bonuses as an incentive to work harder, will not work.

Well, the whole project was done before time, under cost, and citizens were pleased to no end.

The contractor got a MONSTER sized bonus agreed upon by politicians who didn't think he'd earn a penny of the bonus !

Lead, follow or get out of the WAY !!!!
Something America, needs to re-learn after 3.25 years of economic amateurish madness.

Thomas Jefferson often wrote about how our nation's leaders, and our government, had to change as times changed. Jefferson questioned how any document could govern a nation for more than a generation. It was Jefferson who posited the idea that we would have to have a revolution every generation or so, so that a new government would emerge which was responsive to the needs of a new generation of citizens.

It is both simplistic and unrealistic for you to state, "...you could cut 92% of the federal government, right now, and be fully compliant with the Constitution base[sic] upon which it was supposed to be founded and governed." In other words, Thomas Jefferson understood that times change, and over 200 years later, you fail to understand that fact. Jefferson's ideal was a nation made up primarily of farmers, ranchers, and hunters. If he were come to life today and observe a modern manufacturing/technology-based economy, he would be shocked that the Constitution written so long ago, and written for a much smaller, rural nation, had not been totally abandoned and rewritten for such a modern society so different than the one in which he lived.

You reinforce with every post on this subject your head-in-the-sand approach, and the theme in 2012 for Mitt and the other Republican candidates...BACKWARD!

"Thomas Jefferson often wrote about how our nation's leaders, and our government, had to change as times changed."

Except there's no such thing as the need to change into a government that grows enough to bankrupt the nation. Other than that, good point, I guess.

And, that modern manufacturing/technology-based economy you talk about? It was supposed to make things cheaper. Jefferson didn't foresee the economies of scale brought on by soaking the nation in petroleum distillates as cheap energy sources. And yet, all those did was give the controlling classes the opportunity to take more control... arriving at that other problem that Jefferson and his ilk DID foresee: The "if you can keep it" part of achieving a Republic. And we didn't keep it; we turned into an empire, and the imperial model is killing us.

But this is all academic, since it's MATH how a government that grows 9% yearly on a base that grows 4% yearly, will eventually collapse. What did you allegedly-teach in the TPS, anyway? It wasn't math, clearly.

Obviously, you are convinced that the giant corporations, and the top 1% who own and run them, have far too much influence with government at all levels. The answer is to educate Americans about how their votes can make a difference.

Can anyone imagine how frightened the powers would be if we could increase the percentage of voters to the level approaching the percentage who voted in the recent French presidential elections? Can anyone imagine the panic in board rooms all around the world if a Teddy Roosevelt type of candidate would run for president with a platform focused upon breaking up these modern trusts and oligopolies?

As long as those allegedly educated voters only vote for corporate candidate A (aka Democrat) or for corporate candidate B (aka Republican), then it's pointless. The established, monied interests just buy both sides, hence those interests (bankers, corporations, rich people) always win the election, and we (well, not you, but people like me) lose.

You want to see a panic? See what happens if people actually start voting for Ron Paul so that he actually collects enough electoral votes to deny a majority. Of course it can't happen in this election cycle, since people have already allowed him to be sidelined and to mainline Romney, hence it's the same corporate-bought horse race between two animals both fed some dynamite and both bet on behind the scenes. Wall Street controls this cycle, as usual. There really wasn't any risk of a popular uprising at all, since the two so-called popular-uprising examples (the TEA Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement) were so flawed that they not only could not prevail, but it's likely they were astroturfed productions anyway.

If somebody like Ron Paul or another Libertarian actually got into a major office and finally sliced and diced your beloved bloated government, you'd be screaming for his impeachment or recall. After all, one of the major sane goals of cutting government is eliminating all these absurd labor contracts and their gold-plated benefits.

Don't you really consider "voters" as proletarian masses, in need of supervision by learned socialist "thinkers", Dale?

Anyone who disagrees with you in any way, you consider a Communist, or at least a Socialist. For the record I vigorously oppose Communism. I was in business with my father for 15 years before I started teaching. I do not believe that Socialism will create the best future for America. I believe in controlled capitalism. Today, we have capitalism that is too often out of control. This leads to monopoly and oligopoly.

To me, small business, within a capitalistic economic system should be supported. My problem is with uncontrolled giant corporations, which the founding fathers could have not possibly forseen coming to America and the world. For instance, have you ever noticed what happens when Walmart enters a community? If it's a small town, most of the family-run small businesses close within a few months to a year or so. The families and their former employees often go to work for Walmart, earning a fraction of what they earned before Walmart moved into town. In larger cities like Toledo, within a short time after Walmart started here, Foodtowns closed and K-Mart started closing stores, with the last closing recently. Along with those, numerous small, family-run businesses closed here, too.

Walmart typically limits hours of their employees, so that few are covered under corporate-paid or subsidized health insurance. Thousands of Walmart workers in Ohio alone are covered by Medicaid because they earn so little working there. And your tax dollars and mine are used to subsidize Walmart this way. Now, Walmart has slipped all the way down the list to the #2 largest business in America on the Fortune 500 list behind only Exxon-Mobil, but the Walton family will not use a portion of their enormous profits (not revenues, but profits) to give their employees health care coverage. In other words, the profit is so high that the Waltons' fortunes would barely notice the difference if their employees were fully covered by company-paid insurance, and Walmart would not have to raise one price on any one item by one penny to continue as one of the richest corporations in the world! Looking at it from a business point of view, subsidizing health care for their workers, would not even cut net profit as much as it would seem. By giving their employees health care coverage, Walmart would have less turnover among employees; therfore saving money on hiring and training new employees.

I've made my choice, but it means nothing. I have never purchased one thing at any Walmart or Sam's store, but people shop there in droves.

Now, this situation meets one definition of profane to me!

"OK...I give up."

Yes, you should, since you've lost in every response.

"For the record I vigorously oppose Communism."

Except that you want society to keep funding a Communist system called a "teacher's union" without complaint, even involvement.

You just don't call it Communism. But what you support runs so against the idea of funder controls that it falls under the purview of Communism anyway. It smells like ass, is a bit sticky, and is brown: Well, guy, you can hardly blame us for calling it SHIT.

'It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
--Upton Sinclair

Dale, Mr Sinclair was talking about YOU.

...that person often dives headlong into the use of gutteral language! Don't bump your head down there, GZ!

GZ...you really know nothing about Communism!
Communists hate free labor unions. Free unions are illegal in Communist countries.

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