Sunday, February 11, 2007

What Kind of Idiot . . ?

This writer is not a civil engineer, but we know something about civil engineering. That makes us eminently qualified to comment on the following:

The Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments and the State of New Mexico (read presidential candidate Bill Richardson) has chosen the route for NM Rail Runner to get from Bernalillo, Sandoval County to the state capital, Santa Fe.

With a tip of our engineer's hat, we graduate to a higher level of invective - from dunderheads to idiots, because MRCOG has chosen a route up the middle of Interstate 25 to get close enough to downtown Santa Fe.

We have commented on this routing before, and it really does not take a civil engineer to see that construction costs will be higher. They are going to have to build in a right-of-way that wasn't originally designed for rail, let alone heavy rail, and there will be heavy costs in relocating lanes (if only temporarily) and bridging and tunneling.

We will be doing more research to back up our comments, but without having done so, we will only say that we suspect that the lower cost of land acquisition will not offset the higher construction costs. The necessary land to make all new right-of-way until a connection is made with the Santa Fe Southern will be cheap until it gets very close to Santa Fe. And New Mexico has never been bashful in using eminent domain.

Most importantly, Bill Richardson needs this project to be well underway in case he starts winning in the Democrat primaries.

Over the next few weeks, we will re-read the reports and try to do some research so that we can comment further.

For now, our reaction to this choice is and remains, "What kind of idiot?"

© 2007 - C. A. Turek -
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