Print 114 comment(s) - last by Indianapolis.. on Apr 14 at 10:20 AM

It expects to build 23 more at over $900,000 a piece

The city of Arlington just recently opened an impressive bus stop with a not-so-impressive price tag of $1 million.
The “super stop” in Arlington, Virginia is unlike any other bus stop. It has a custom designed roof made of glass and steel; a wall of etched glass; heaters in the floor; gorgeous landscaping, and concrete/stainless steel benches.
The bus stop has 10-inch high curbs, 90 feet of concrete and can shelter 15 people at a time while waiting for buses to arrive – all at a cost of $1 million.
The cost comes down to $575,000 for construction/fabrication and $440,000 for construction management and inspections, where federal/state money took care of 80 percent of the total price tag.
When Arlington citizens discovered the cost of the super stop, many were outraged.
“That’s ridiculous,” said Robin Stewart, a citizen who was waiting at the super stop. “From a citizen, from a voter, whoever put that budget through needs to get their butt canned. It’s an outrage.”
The super stop opened on March 11, and 23 more are planned for Arlington’s streetcars. The county has set aside $20.8 million for all of them, which is about $904,000 a piece.
The idea behind the fancy bus stops is to not only accommodate Arlington’s plans for its streetcars and buses (about 16,000 people use the Columbia Pike buses for transportation) but to also draw people to the area. New housing is expected to be built in the area over the next two decades, and the county hopes the bus stops will help it flourish.
“When you do a prototype, you end up heavily front-loading on the costs,” said Dennis Leach, Arlington’s transportation director. “These are more like high-capacity bus or rail stops.”
But citizens are concerned about the budget, saying that Arlington can build nice bus stops without having to spend $1 million.
“Oh my God. How much steel? How much cement? How much glass? One million? Bring them to court,” said Husain Hamid, who was waiting at the super stop. “People are hungry. People are sleeping on the street. It doesn’t need $1 million.”

Source: Washington Post

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RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By OCedHrt on 4/5/2013 1:47:00 AM , Rating: 4
You mean the private company contracted by the government to build these bus stops?

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By martin5000 on 4/5/2013 5:41:08 AM , Rating: 4
He means a private company will always try to get the best deal both as the contractee and the contractor.

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By Souka on 4/5/2013 12:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
steel and concrete didn't cost $1million

"The cost comes down to $575,000 for construction/fabrication

not sure what it cost... but labor is a major part.

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By michael67 on 4/6/2013 9:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
As a piping and maintenance supervisor, and even do i do never offers, i do know roughly what things will cost, and i also don't see the price tag.

Ok for the first prototype, i could see a price tag of around 5 to 600.000, the other one's should not cost more then $400.000, it nice looking but some ware thinking, "let take the money and run".

But above all they forgot the first and main thing, in designs like this this, don't compromise on function over design.
As wood or plastic covered benches would be nicer to sit in, also the hole open design is crap when it rains or blows.

All in all i give it a 9 for looks and a 5 for function, and that mainly because the information board is handy.

This cost $550.000 for a double stop, including heated site walk, and information screen and ticket machine.
Build in Norway, country with one of the highest labor cost in the world.

Yeah its not as fancy as the one above, but then it also cost less then a 1/3 and imho is more functional against the weather.

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By trats20050 on 4/7/2013 11:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
Electrician here.. It says floor heaters im guessing this are not gas operated but electric heaters.. No matter what company you use this are not cheap to run and requires all kinds of equipment, including controls for automatic heaters and safety controls... This alone must be one quarter of the total price..

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By PrinceGaz on 4/8/2013 8:37:34 AM , Rating: 2
Norway has a very long coastline for its size with lots of fjords (sp?) so they probably get a lot of relatively cheap hydroelectric power.

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By lemonadesoda on 4/8/2013 10:05:12 AM , Rating: 2
Did you REALLY just type that? Hydro-power comes from water up a MOUNTAIN driving turbines as it falls, and not from fjords that are at SEA LEVEL.

By ShieTar on 4/8/2013 11:07:16 AM , Rating: 2
Not fully correct, there are also hydro-power stations using the motion of tidal waves. But the lengths of the coastal line is not relevant for those either, because they don't run along the coast, but rather into it.

Irrelevance of Coastal lines aside, Norway does heat absolutely everything electrically, because they do have hydro-power in abundance, and a very low population density. And the construction of the hydro-plants was paid for by their oil-money, so electricity is very cheap in Norway, while the people are filthy rich.

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By jihadjoe on 4/6/2013 3:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
Im sure they employed a construction team of PhDs to put up this bus stop. Your tax money has not gone to waste.

By Wilder Napalm on 4/7/2013 6:16:09 PM , Rating: 3
I spent 30 years in transportation engineering and from the pictures I can see a cool million as front end loaded. You must remember on every transportation project there is are planners doing scoping studies a team of design engineers, right of agents buying needed right of way from owners. When property owners want more than appraised value that brings in attorneys.Then Utility agents clearance is needed all this and you can think about letting the project for low bids, that's brings in the program management folks to over see the bidding process. Every person who works on a project charges to the project and there is a cool million and anywhere from 3 to years to have a project.

By pixelslave on 4/8/2013 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
He means a private company will always try to get the best deal both as the contractee and the contractor.

Yea. I bet you 1 cent that the private company "that won a bid to build any project" will always try to get the best deal from its sub-contractors and material suppliers -- it just won't past that savings back.

By Indianapolis on 4/14/2013 10:20:49 AM , Rating: 2
Don't be dense. His very obvious point is that when somebody is spending their own money (whether that is private company or an individual), then they don't blow it in such senseless ways. People have a tendency to exercise responsible stewardship over their own money.

But when it's a government agency spending tax money, well, that's a very different story.

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