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Keyword: boondoggle

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  • NASA's $1 Billion Mobile Launcher Leans a Little

    02/21/2018 10:03:25 AM PST · by Red Badger · 71 replies
    www.popularmechanics.com ^ | Feb 21, 2018 | By Avery Thompson
    NASA's latest tower for launching rockets has a little bit of a lean, which means it may be able to launch just a single rocket. The cost of this tower boondoggle? Almost $1 billion. The tower in question is the Mobile Launcher designed for NASAís upcoming Space Launch System, which would become the worldís most powerful rocket once completed in a few years. The tower is supposed to keep the rocket stable and upright on the platform during a launch. The system was built for NASAís now-defunct Ares I rocket and later repurposed for the SLS. The Mobile Launcher is...
  • Bullet train sparks fight as old as Texas: progress v tradition

    02/18/2018 8:33:31 AM PST · by Elderberry · 39 replies
    Houston Chronicle ^ | 2/16/2018 | Dug Begley
    William Shelton will not let go of the past, even if it is in the way of someone else's future. He has spent more than five years rebuilding his family's ancestral home, board by board, and has no intention of leaving it or the 250-acre farm that has been in his family since 1851. Two years ago, surveyors started showing up, wanting a clear idea of his property lines for Texas Central Railway, the company behind plans for a 200-mph "bullet train" connecting Houston to Dallas. The proposed route would go through Shelton's farm. "I guarantee I will be restoring...
  • Maryland Attorney General: State can't authorize Hyperloop construction with utility permit alone

    02/01/2018 10:38:58 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | January 16, 2018 | Colin Campbell
    The Maryland Attorney Generalís Office has called into question the stateís authority to grant permission to Tesla founder Elon Muskís tunneling startup, The Boring Co., to build several miles of tunnels for his high-speed Hyperloop transportation system below the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The State Highway Administration granted a conditional utility permit on Oct. 16 to allow The Boring Co. to begin building the tunnels, if the company supplies additional information about the project and it meets all necessary requirements. But the Hyperloop system ďis not a utility under federal standards or SHAís federally-approved utility accommodation policies,Ē Assistant Attorney General David Stamper...
  • Cost climbs by $2.8 billion for California bullet train

    01/16/2018 3:22:04 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 55 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jan 16, 2018 5:21 PM EST | Kathleen Ronayne
    Officials increased the cost estimate for the first phase of Californiaís high speed rail project by 35 percent on Tuesday, to $10.6 billion. That would put the entire cost of the train from San Francisco to Los Angeles at roughly $67 billion, although officials said they hope to recover the newly announced costs later. [Ö] The $2.8 billion price jump is for a 119-mile (191-kilometer) segment in the Central Valley, which is partially under construction. The fresh costs are due to trouble acquiring rights of way for the track, the need to build more barriers along the tracks and other...
  • The Navy Is Changing Its Plans for its Dumbed-Down Zumwalts and Their Ammoless Guns

    12/06/2017 7:30:02 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 77 replies
    The Drive ^ | DECEMBER 5, 2017 | JOSEPH TREVITHICK
    The future USS Michael Monsoor, set to become the U.S. Navyís second stealthy Zumwalt-class destroyer, is underway for the first time for sea trials. The milestone comes as the service continues to reformulate the role of the ships, now saying they will be focused on attacking surface targets at sea, as well as on land, while the vessels' future seems as uncertain as ever in the face of continuing budget shortfalls and personnel problems. The second Zumwalt-class ship, also known as DDG-1001, sailed down the Kennebec River in Maine, on its way to the Altantic Ocean from Bath Iron Works...
  • Government regs add costs, impede property rights for homebuilder

    11/17/2017 10:19:52 AM PST · by Twotone · 9 replies
    Idaho Freedom Foundation ^ | November 17, 2017 | Wayne Hoffman
    Over the course of two years, Randy Hamilton built a single-story custom home in which he planned to live out his retirement with his wife, Lois. But by the end of the construction process, Hamilton found himself in a standoff with government officials who were threatening him with criminal prosecution and the possibility he might never be able to occupy or sell his new home. It all came about because Hamilton didnít want to hire a contractor to calculate whether his air conditioning and heating system had been properly sized for his 1,500-square foot home. Hamilton is no novice when...
  • Interstate 73 is a shovel-ready project. But who will pay $2.4 billion to move the dirt?

    11/04/2017 11:07:40 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    Myrtle Beach Onlin ^ | October 13, 2017 | Audrey Hudson
    Construction of Interstate 73 to Myrtle Beach has widespread support among key players in Washington, D.C., and is favored for financing when President Trump introduces an infrastructure package to Congress, according to U.S. Rep. Tom Rice. ďThe president has said he wants an infrastructure package, and we want to make sure that we are on the radar at the front of the line,Ē Rice told The Sun News in an interview this week. Rice says heís held numerous meetings to help secure the $2.4 billion needed with top Trump administration officials, including D.J. Gribbin, special assistant to the president for...
  • California High Speed Rail- Update

    09/13/2017 3:23:12 PM PDT · by ptsal · 28 replies
    Update on the California High Speed Rail Project Thursday, September 28, 2017, 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM University of California Center - 550 East Shaw Avenue, Fresno (Stanislaus/Tuolumne Room) Join us for lunch and an update on the High Speed Rail Project presented by California High Speed Rail Authority Environmental Staff. After lunch attendees will be taken on a tour of construction sites in the Fresno/Madera County area. Since adoption of the Final EIR/EIS, the project has progressed into the design/build phase with four active construction packages. This presentation will update us on the current High Speed Rail work happening...
  • Rio's $700 million village was turned into luxury condos now reportedly 'shuttered' and 93% vacant

    07/19/2017 1:38:10 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 58 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | July 19, 2017 | by Scott Davis
    The Rio Olympics continue to be an example of why more and more cities are wary of hosting the games. Rio 2016 has essentially become a financial disaster, with the games costing $13 billion in a mix of private and public money, according to a June Associated Press report. Much of the Olympic infrastructure is abandoned or underused, including the $700 million athletes village that was supposed to be turned into luxury condos once the games were over. Stephen Wade of the Associated Press recently reported via Twitter that the athletes village was "shuttered" and that only 7% of the...
  • F-35 buzzing over the house.

    05/05/2017 4:10:33 PM PDT · by DAC21 · 57 replies
    Chino Airshow | 5/5/17 | DAC21
    F-35, P-38 2 x P-51 and Mitchell B-25 flying over the house in formation.
  • Infrastructure overhaul may top $1 trillion, cut red tape: Trump

    04/04/2017 10:38:55 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    Reuters ^ | April 4, 2017 | By David Shepardson
    President Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday to cut red tape to speed up approval of infrastructure projects and said his overhaul could top $1 trillion on roads, tunnels and bridges, one of his 2016 election campaign promises. Trump, a real estate businessman before he was elected, did not provide further details on the amount or where the money would come from. Trump said building a highway can require dozens of approvals and take 10 to 20 years, a process he vowed to speed up. Trump said he would not fund projects that cannot be started within 90 days. The administration...
  • Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly

    04/04/2017 7:53:17 AM PDT · by johnk · 33 replies
    https://www.theregister.co.uk ^ | 3 Apr 2017 | Richard Chirgwin
    Gun: fail. Flight: fail. Software: fail. Schedule: fail. Budget: fail. Plus 270 more fails... ďThe Services have designated 276 deficiencies in combat performance as ďcritical to correctĒ in Block 3F, but less than half of the critical deficiencies were addressed with attempted corrections in 3FR6Ē, the report states... The problem with the wing design makes the F-35 a challenge to fly at around the speed of sound: ďAll F-35 variants display objectionable or unacceptable flying qualities at transonic speeds, where aerodynamic forces on the aircraft are rapidly changing. Particularly, under elevated 'g' conditions, when wing loading causes the effects to...
  • A Startupís Plan To Cut Air Freight Costs In Half With 777-Size Drones

    03/27/2017 4:49:23 PM PDT · by COBOL2Java · 46 replies
    Fast Company ^ | 03.27.17 | 2:30 PM | DANIEL TERDIMAN
    Commercial passenger jets fly at an altitude of around 30,000 feet or higher. Imagine sitting in a window seat of one of those giant aluminum tubes a few years from now as it makes its way across the Pacific Ocean. Picture looking down about 10,000 feet below. You just might see what one startup thinks could be the future of international cargo transport. The idea is simple: Shipping by air is fast, but expensive. Boat is much cheaper, but very slow. So why not send all those boxes and packages on an un-piloted, amphibious Boeing 777-sized drone that can...
  • California's Boondoggle Bullet Train Goes Off The (Fiscal) Rails

    03/21/2017 8:09:19 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 71 replies
    IBD ^ | 03/21/2017
    State Waste: The Golden State's vaunted bullet train project, planned to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles, may be in its financial death throes. If so, it's probably the best fiscal news for the Golden State in years. To say that Gov. Jerry Brown's pet project, the so-called high-speed train, is troubled would be an understatement. From the very beginning, it has been a testament to political hubris, fiscal irresponsibility, outright lies and abysmal planning. The bullet train idea was floated on a blustery gust of political promises in 2008, when proponents put the high-speed rail to the state's voters...
  • Mobile-built Austal LCS stranded in Singapore (US Navy ship)

    03/16/2017 10:47:51 AM PDT · by pabianice · 40 replies
    al com ^ | 2/22/17 | Harress
    An Austal-built Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and crew are stranded in Singapore because of a change in training standards propelled by a series of recent engineering breakdowns throughout the LCS fleet. The USS Coronado, built in Mobile nearly five years ago, deployed to the Pacific Rim in June last year to relieve the LCS Fort Worth. The Coronado and its crew were supposed to arrive back in the home port of San Diego by Thanksgiving but could now end up being abroad for an indefinite period as they wait for a relief crew to be trained to the new Naval...
  • Texas Bullet Train Project Reaches Key Milestones in Land Option Program

    03/14/2017 2:33:48 PM PDT · by Brad from Tennessee · 43 replies
    North Dallas Gazette ^ | March 13, 2017
    DALLAS ¬ĖTexas Central, developers of the state¬ís high-speed train, announced on February 7th that it reached a signiÔ¨Ācant milestone in its land option program, the result of collaborative and ongoing engagements with property owners and stakeholders along the project¬ís potential route. The company said it has reached option agreements on about 30 percent of the parcels estimate to be needed for the bullet train¬ís route in the 10-county stretch between North Texas and Houston. Negotiations have resulted in option agreements in all 10 counties, including 50 percent of the parcels for the proposed route in Waller and Grimes counties. Grimes...
  • The dream of high-speed rail in California is taking longer and costing more

    03/14/2017 12:36:14 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 50 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | March 14, 2017 | By KURT SNIBBE
    In 2008, Californians approved a high-speed rail project that has become one of the largest infrastructure projects in the nation. The dream of taking a train from Southern California to San Francisco in about three hours is chugging along, but facing new barriers. The original plan voters opted for in 2008 was titled the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century. When voters approved the measure, the estimated cost of the project was $40 billion. The 2016 business plan reviewed by the Legislative Analysts Office estimated a cost of $64 billion. WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO...
  • Obama wanted to be the high-speed rail president. It might be Trump instead.

    02/11/2017 4:53:52 PM PST · by repentant_pundit · 54 replies
    McClatchy ^ | FEBRUARY 10, 2017 | CURTIS TATE
    Could Donald Trump be the president who brings high-speed rail to America? The Obama administration spent nearly $10 billion to improve passenger rail service across the country. While it accomplished that goal to some degree, it did not build the faster trains passengers can ride in Europe, Japan and China. Trains in other countries can travel 200 mph or more, but no train in the United States as yet travels faster than 150 mph. Most go much more slowly than that. Trump has proposed a $1 trillion investment in U.S. infrastructure, and he has expressed interest in improving roads, bridges,...
  • California's bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun, a confidential [tr]

    01/14/2017 6:33:36 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 59 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | January 13, 2017 2:45 PM | Ralph Vartabedian
    Californiaís bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated ó as much as $3.6 billion more. And thatís just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion. The federal document outlines far-reaching management problems: significant delays in environmental planning,...
  • California's bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun...

    01/13/2017 1:38:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 68 replies
    latimes.com ^ | Ralph Vartabedian
    Californiaís bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated ó as much as $3.6 billion more. And thatís just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion. The federal document outlines far-reaching management problems: significant delays in environmental planning, lags in processing invoices...