Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dan Ryan Project Complete: Assessment

The Dan Ryan project is complete. The final cost ($975 million) is way over the original budget ($550 million), but the project was completed on schedule. Some questions to consider:

1. What accounts for the cost overruns and was the project a worthwhile investment of almost $1 billion of capital dollars?

2. How do you assess the outreach effort to motorists concerning the project?

3. There was a great deal of controversy over the level of minority participation in the project--How do you assess IDOT's efforts in this regard?

4. What lessons can be learned from the project?

5. Did IDOT blow it by not installing a high occupancy toll (HOT) lane?

6. The average daily traffic volume was 300,000 before the reconstruction: How soon before traffic volume (a) returns to that level and (b) reaches a level where the congestion is as bad as is was before the project?


Anonymous said...

Don't you know? All the large infrastructure projects are grossly underestimated (in public)-- causes lots of tension between the planning, engineering and political wings of the system-- in this and most other regions except of course--Oregon and Minnesota and sometimes Wisconsin and Washington State.

Rick Powell said...

I don't have an opinion on anything except the last half of #1, because I do not have an informed perspective on all the particulars. Having driven it between the I-57 split and 55th Street yesterday, I'd say it looks and functions well, and thus seems to protect the public's long term investment in infrastructure.

Traffic on Saturday afternoon was relatively light, and it was a joy to drive.

Anonymous said...

100% over budget--but hey it runs real good! No consequences no accountability hence no harm? Where did all the money come from and what didn't get done or won't get done?

sabrina d. said...

As regards the outreach, I thought it was very good. They were clear from the outset that it was going to be a disaster to try and drive it, and redirecting traffic to parallel routes was fairly clear (at least for locals - I suspect it might have been somewhat obtuse for out-of-towners).

Now -- can we have our bike lanes back, please?

UChicagoDomer said...

so, let me get this straight: we spent 1 Billion dollars so that 300,000 commuters can travel to and from the city everyday, but we can't scrounge up enough money to cover CTA's 200 Million dollar 2008 operating deficit so that 1.6 Million daily CTA riders aren't burdened with decreased service, increased slow zones, and CTA's decreasing ability to obtain federal funding.

Anonymous said...

Domer: Apples and oranges. A better comparison would be the number of passengers served by the $390 million Pink Line renovation (or many served for how much money by the Green Line slight rehab 10 years ago).

Rick Powell said...

The Ryan reconstruction was a capital project, and it should last for another 30 years without a major maintenance effort as it is an extended-life design, 44" thick pavement structure. The CTA's funding shortfall is operational, and is a recurring expense each year unless service is curtailed or additional operating efficiencies are gained.

Capital expenses are, and will be, necessary for both the city's expressway and transit network to protect the public's investment and to make improvements in service.

Operational expenses are a function of what is needed and the willingness of the public to pay (through a combination of fares and operating subsidies) for a given level of service.

pc said...

Perhaps a better contrast would be the 196,269 people who will benefit from the $105.7 million Slow Zone Elimination Project -- with an average travel time savings of 10 minutes, that project will save our region's economy nearly half a million dollars a day.

crash-dev said...

For all the bashing of the CTA management, it finally implemented many of the reforms people have been asking of it.

This statement by the Tax Payers Federation of Illinois agrees.

Anonymous said...

The Taxpayers Federation seems to talk about mostly the pension and healthcare reforms, for which Huberman is entitled to some credit. They mention governance reforms, but don't really discuss them. As previously noted, the 9 or 12 vote requirements to initiate action by the RTA contained in SB572 renders those reforms illusory.

Anonymous said...

I share a love-hate relationship with virtual memory because of the way prices are always,and I domean always falling. I hate buying SD Cards for my R4 / R4i at (what seems to be) a crazy bargain price only to see it become a whole lot more cheaper a couple of weeks later.

(Submitted by NDSBro for R4i Nintendo DS.)