Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Mega-Projects Cost More Than Estimates

People lie. The article is about Seattle's proposed tunnel, but could apply here as easily. The reasons cited all make sense too. The final question; would we want to know the truth, is worth asking. I sometimes wonder if people can really handle the truth. It usually requires that you look into the mirror.


The North Coast said...

Of course, public officials LIE. A lot of friendships and connections and political futures are riding on big public works projects.

I never saw a project that didn't overrun its costs by 75% or more, often much more.

The problem is that no matter how many bureaucracies and commissions and oversight boards and rules and sealed bids we have, we have not found to assure transparency.

In fact, the more we try, the more we multiply the bureaucracy and documents and layers of supervision, the more opaque and byzantine these projects become, and the more opportunities for graft there are. And the more big public works projects we have, the worse it gets.

The North Coast said...

Excuse me, dropped a word back there.

We have not found a way to achieve transparency, I meant to say.