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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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A general rule
By half_duplex on 4/5/2013 9:46:29 AM , Rating: 2
When it comes to government doing ANYTHING, regardless if it's launching a shuttle or building a covered bench, the cost will be 5 to 25 times higher than if it were privately build.

This absurd amount probably doesn't even cover the land that they probably already owned.

I've seen $200,000 houses with twice as much to offer.

What a joke.

RE: A general rule
By BRB29 on 4/5/2013 12:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
that's an over-exaggeration but maybe a 50% increase in price simply because of the contract bidding system.

I know there are $100k houses out there that are better than the $900k townhomes being sold here. The fact is, this is deep inside the city where salary is extremely high. Everything cost more in the city including gas. A beer is $8 standard at most bars/clubs. Go to CVS and pay $9 for small bottle of eye drops. I took my GF out for lunch and it cost $36 for 2 bowls of noodles + a coffee. That didn't even include the $20 i had to pay to park my car and still have to walk a block.

RE: A general rule
By half_duplex on 4/8/2013 11:18:19 AM , Rating: 2
The reason things in the city cost more is largely due to the higher cost of land, higher taxes, regulations, higher salaries, etc.

In this instance, I don't think any of those are factors besides the higher salaries paid to the union workers who assembled the bus stop.

The article suggests the high cost is due to the material.

You can nearly build a McDonalds for what they spent. More material is needed for just the McDonalds kitchen than required for this 15 person pavilion.

I have been in the construction-engineering industry. I would not be surprised if that same facility could be built for $100,000 if managed properly.

RE: A general rule
By omgwtf8888 on 4/5/2013 12:47:49 PM , Rating: 3
This is not all on the shoulders of the government. The government bids the job out to a private contractor(s). The tax dollars for this project are leaving the government and going directly into private contractors. Long ago private interests found that by contracting out government services there was a huge profit to be made. Paid off politicians hamstinged the government agencies built to monitor these contracts. There are large numbers of Government administrative employees working hard to do all they can to reign in costs and stop corruption. So interestingly enough the culprits are the "private businesses" paying bribes (in the form of campaign contributions) and their co-horts in the Congress and Whitehouse. I personally fail to see how these quid pro quo contributions do not run afoul of the federal corruption act. Oh wait... the pols have control of the U.S Attorney's office.

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