September 22, 2010

Construction in New Jersey

New Jersey is a politically corrupt state that recently elected a wonderful new Governor. Here is a video of Governor Chris Christie before showing what I am talking about: How to be a leader Well, there is a union highway construction project that is running a little bit over budget. From the North Jersey website:
ARC tunnel project hurt by poor planning
NJ Transit did not have a complete plan for "combating fraud, waste and abuse" or safeguards for keeping its Hudson River tunnel project from spilling over its $8.7 billion budget, a federal audit shows.

Now, the project, which has been put on hold by Governor Christie, could go as much as $5 billion over budget if a plan to mitigate risks is not put in place, according to a source close to the project.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Christie is a force to be reckoned with. A bit more:
Auditors also noted that disagreements were affecting the project. NJ Transit was delayed in submitting one document because the two parties could not agree on "what constitutes compliance with the overarching project execution plan."

Other issues cited include the following:
  • NJ Transit chose not to use an independent private-sector inspector general, despite evidence that doing so "can help identify problems � such as internal control weaknesses, contractor integrity and ethics lapses, and infiltration of organized crime."
  • NJ Transit needed to specify who would be responsible for cost overruns � NJ Transit, the Port Authority or New Jersey Turnpike Authority � before getting full funding for the project.
  • NJ Transit last year estimated project delays could range from nine months to 22 months, but those estimates were based on January 2008 data that auditors found to be too outdated to gauge whether delays were eliminated or had grown.
NJ Transit officials, meanwhile, told auditors that delays in completing the plans were due to a lack of clear FTA guidance. When NJ Transit sought help, "FTA suggested that NJT follow the general criteria found on FTA's website and contact the New York MTA for guidance," according to the report.

FTA officials, in response, said it had provided appropriate guidance in letters, e-mails and meetings, but that delays were caused by a combination of "project complexity, [NJ Transit's] inexperience; and, at times, NJ Transit's unwillingness to develop policies and procedures consistent" with what the FTA required.
Emphasis mine -- somehow, I don't think that there is very much infiltration of organized crime. I think that organized crime owns the unions. They certainly act like it. There once was a time when unions served the worker. Now they just exist to take the workers money, negotiate untenable contracts for the workers -- generous pension plans that are horribly underfunded, etc... By the time the average worker realizes that his pension plan in bankrupt, the union "leaders" are long gone. The fact that Obama is so much in bed with today's unions really shows what a clueless ninny he is -- sure, they delivered the votes but now that their nose is under the tent flap, they are going to keep asking for more and more until the whole house of cards collapses... Posted by DaveH at September 22, 2010 11:48 AM
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