A comparison...

spr1975wshs

Mostly settled in...
PREMO Member
Too true and so very sad.

But, could you imagine trying to build anything of that scale, that quickly today with all the regulatory hoops to jump through?
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
Empire State Building: Completed and open in 1 year 45 days.

Sears Tower: Completed and open in 3 years.

SOMD Corner of Rte 235 and Airport Road: 3 years... and counting! Still under construction
See my traffic rant.
Road projects always seem to take long, in southern Maryland they seem to take even longer.
Look at the Brandywine Rd / RT 5 intersection. How long as that cluster bomb been "under construction"
Widening of Rt 4 through Prince Frederick. It's a mess if not a down right hazzard.
Any government led construction process is pilled high with politics. Demands for the use of local business, small, minority owned, female owned, etc. I once worked for a small three letter agency and saw the outright corruption on these projects.
Small business would get the job, be in over their head and eventually they would breach on the contract. The prime would then force the insurance company to hold their insured in default and pay out on the surety bond (performance bond). Of course the government had gaurunteed the bonds so it was really the government paying twice. Then the GC would hire one of their big boys to come in and finish the job.
No incentive to complete, lots of delays and billions spent.

The excuse here is that the asphalt plants closed for the winter. Last I checked we have winter every year. You would think the schedule would have been drawn up with weather in mind.
 

MiddleGround

Well-Known Member
The excuse here is that the asphalt plants closed for the winter. Last I checked we have winter every year. You would think the schedule would have been drawn up with weather in mind.
Bad excuse. There were MULTIPLE days/weeks last spring and summer where there was zero movement on the project.
 

my-thyme

..if momma ain't happy...
Patron
Yeah, watched that happen at the Blimpie gas station at the end of Hermanville Rd. One little old man and one little old woman, watched just the 2 of them working on the gas tanks/pumps for weeks. Getting very little done. Then POOF, it was done.

I'll bet those fellows who run the gas station were irritated at all the loss of business.
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
Yeah, watched that happen at the Blimpie gas station at the end of Hermanville Rd. One little old man and one little old woman, watched just the 2 of them working on the gas tanks/pumps for weeks. Getting very little done. Then POOF, it was done.

I'll bet those fellows who run the gas station were irritated at all the loss of business.
The "One little old man and one little old woman" are probably the owners and were trying to save money by doing some of the work themselves. Those pumps were long overdue for replacement, they were barely functioning.
 

MiddleGround

Well-Known Member
Looks like another summer will go by with nothing done. Haven't seen a single worker on that corner in weeks. They dug a big hole and it's just sitting there. I feel bad for the folks that work back there and have to take the detour for the next year.
 

Merlin99

Visualize whirled peas
PREMO Member
Isn't this the same corner that everyone was saying was completed except for the tape or paint?
 

glhs837

Power with Control
The "One little old man and one little old woman" are probably the owners and were trying to save money by doing some of the work themselves. Those pumps were long overdue for replacement, they were barely functioning.

Maybe thats why those pumps are like 5 inches shorter than any other gas pumps I've even seen.

Back on topic, Compared to this intersection, here's what Tesla has done in about four and a half months.

Jan 7th From this

137360


To this, yes, thats the same plot of land that was a muddy mess less than five months ao and should be producing pilot cars in say September or November.

137361
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
Maybe thats why those pumps are like 5 inches shorter than any other gas pumps I've even seen.

Back on topic, Compared to this intersection, here's what Tesla has done in about four and a half months.

Jan 7th From this

To this, yes, thats the same plot of land that was a muddy mess less than five months ao and should be producing pilot cars in say September or November.
It's not "Southern" Maryland. I'm not the only one, nor the first to comment on the work ethic. Friend described it as "southern coastal".
Slower pace, do enough to get by, then take off for the rest of the day. Construction crews in a lot of places start before first light and don't leave until it's dark - that's the normal pace. 24/7 if it's a push job.
 

glhs837

Power with Control
Figured since this started as a comparison the the Empire State Building, we were free to draw other examples :)
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
Figured since this started as a comparison the the Empire State Building, we were free to draw other examples :)
Oh, I think it's a good example. Just pointing out one possible reason for the excessive time required to complete a project.
Still waiting for that Mall in Mechanicsville to opened.
 

Hannibal

Member
See my traffic rant.
Road projects always seem to take long, in southern Maryland they seem to take even longer.
Look at the Brandywine Rd / RT 5 intersection. How long as that cluster bomb been "under construction"
Widening of Rt 4 through Prince Frederick. It's a mess if not a down right hazzard.
Any government led construction process is pilled high with politics. Demands for the use of local business, small, minority owned, female owned, etc. I once worked for a small three letter agency and saw the outright corruption on these projects.
Small business would get the job, be in over their head and eventually they would breach on the contract. The prime would then force the insurance company to hold their insured in default and pay out on the surety bond (performance bond). Of course the government had gaurunteed the bonds so it was really the government paying twice. Then the GC would hire one of their big boys to come in and finish the job.
No incentive to complete, lots of delays and billions spent.

The excuse here is that the asphalt plants closed for the winter. Last I checked we have winter every year. You would think the schedule would have been drawn up with weather in mind.
A couple of points to consider:
  1. The Rt 4 project is actually progressing nicely. They're doing good work. Don't know their contract / obligations but their phasing and production seem pretty good. All roadway work leads to challenges for the motorists but in fairness to the GC (Total I believe), they're keeping things clean and straight-forward.
  2. These types of jobs are driven by overzealous politicians who control all possibilities of production. For example, they will phase traffic control resulting in limited work areas. They will force work to happen at night leading to unreliable vendors/maintenance, etc. (among others). if you let the contractor plan the work for maximum productivity, you would see cheaper and faster contracts. This is one of the reasons many larger projects are leaning on the design-build delivery method so contractors/engineers/designers can work on the same team for these very reasons.
  3. . With your bond example, it doesn't make sense. The GC would ultimately be held responsible to the prime in terms of bond or default. The prime/owner would simply go to the GC to correct the issue and manage their sub (or their own performance). The bond default would only come into play with a failure on the part of the GC and the prime would have no say in who ultimately performed the work. The bond would be enacted and the bonding company would rebid it, work out a new contract with another GC and be responsible for the cost delta between the two. The prime would have no say (unless we're talking "way out there" scenarios) and would not be responsible for the cost increase. Owners/primes never want to go down this route unless absolutely necessary because the bonding companies are LARGE with deep pockets and will bring on board ALL kinds of experts to support their client and their interests.
  4. Road projects typically do not advance much in the "winter" months due to moisture issues in the ground and temperatures. In the winter, rain events linger longer in terms of ground saturation/evaporation. Subgrade becomes a mess without reasonable evaporation and cannot be worked. Concrete cannot be placed, etc. Most large scale projects apply multiple calendars in their schedule to mange for this - but delays push weather sensitive operations into those weather restrictions and work cannot be done (or done on production).
  5. Asphalt plants everywhere shutdown for SOME portion of the year regardless of region. They overhaul their plants typically yearly as part of maintenance. They typically allow for their closure period each year in the winter because demand is down. That actual window may change dependent on actual temps/conditions. The reality is, any asphalt plant anywhere, will keep selling asphalt as long as someone will keep buying it. But with any gov't backed contract, there is specific requirements concerning asphalt and temperature - both at the plant/discharge, and when placed on site. Additionally, there are specific requirements regarding ground temps and ambient air temps at the location of placement. This has nothing to do with the contractor and the plants can't willy-nilly startup and shutdown their plants.
 

Hannibal

Member
Figured since this started as a comparison the Empire State Building, we were free to draw other examples :)
Some of these are impressive timelines but I would also say they benefited from several key factors:
  1. Reduced worker benefits - in other words, no real labor policies regarding working conditions/hours and general safety (check out some of the safety records - namely for the Hoover Dam).
  2. General rules for safety - hate saying it, but safe work often comes at the expense of fast work.
  3. Non-existent QA/QC criteria. For example, there are definitive timelines required regarding the loading of concrete when going vertical (relative to design strength, etc.) that limit production upwards.
  4. Surplus of labor - in these days, people were begging for work in general so builders had a never ending stream of resources.
  5. Quality of labor - in these days, the amount of skilled (and uneven unskilled) labor was far better comparatively to today. I point out, how many people are pushing their kids to go dig ditches and operate machinery? It's a tough job and a noble profession for sure, but the overall quality of worker in the talent pool is dwindling. Back then, people had no qualms about hard work or working with their hands.
  6. Changes could be addressed and settled with a meeting and a handshake. Now-a-days, even the simplest change can have large time disruptions and costs (due to the imposed language of the contracts).
I could go on and on as to why. All I can say though is that I imagine it was a "simpler" time then.
 

RoseRed

American Beauty
PREMO Member
Oh, I think it's a good example. Just pointing out one possible reason for the excessive time required to complete a project.
Still waiting for that Mall in Mechanicsville to opened.
I forgot all about the underground mall! :yay:
 
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