Saturday, December 24, 2011

Avoiding Delusions and Deception in Public Infrastructure Costs

The basic reason to restore rail passenger service to the Pittsburgh to Harrisburg line is to provide a transportation alternative to highway and air. Restored rail passenger service means a lessening of a virtual reliance upon the highway. Restored rail passenger service will lessen highway congestion. Restored rail passenger service will create an alternative to air service.

What has been described implements established engineering and technology. There is nothing innovative in what is proposed.

But, restoring Pittsburgh to Harrisburg rail passenger service should not be confused with the infamy of cost overruns of megaprojects.

Here is an interesting summary of notorious infrastructure cost overruns. The article, from the Atlantic Magazine helpfully makes recommendations for avoiding delusions and deceptions in planning and funding large infrastructure projects.

The Delusion and Deception in Megaproject Cost Estimates

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