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Old 12-27-06, 04:01 PM   #1
N_C
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Is it me or are construction costs increasing?

It seems that the cost of construction is increasing. I know it happens with an increase of materials, labor, etc., but it seems lately it has gone up incredibly high.

Could it be because contractors are spending more time then they want doing trail construction projects instead of the jobs they want to do & make more money on, like roadways, etc. so they have increased the costs? Or do you think it is just the "natural" progression of the increase of things like trail construction? Or do you think it is because of something else?

Or am I way off base here & the costs are actually not that bad at all & have hardly increased?

Here are some links showing the costs of current & proposed projects:

http://www.bikeiowa.com/asp/hotnews/...sp?NewsID=1923

http://www.bikeiowa.com/asp/hotnews/...sp?NewsID=1931

http://www.bikeiowa.com/asp/hotnews/...sp?NewsID=1928
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Old 12-27-06, 04:07 PM   #2
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is it me, or does every post you make have a bikeiowa link in it
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Old 12-27-06, 04:10 PM   #3
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the price of projects around here are astronomically high. it's hard to grasp when even the smallest thing is millions or tens of millions of dollars. i don't really know how my tax dollars are being used or if we're all being taking for a ride (no pun intended).
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Old 12-27-06, 05:20 PM   #4
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The cost of fuel and labor has been regularly increasing, and the cost of concrete has gone up quite a bit due to a strong demand for the raw materials from China.
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Old 12-27-06, 08:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
is it me, or does every post you make have a bikeiowa link in it

At least this time he said something. Usually it is just a post with the link and no explanation.

FWIW, costs have increased. Increased fuel costs for all the machinery. Anything asphalt costs more (asphalt=oil). Many other building material costs have been skyrocketing in recent years.

-D
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Old 12-27-06, 09:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
is it me, or does every post you make have a bikeiowa link in it
Nothing wrong with that...if you don't want to read the linked material, don't make with the click, it's as simple as that!
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Old 12-28-06, 12:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
the price of projects around here are astronomically high. it's hard to grasp when even the smallest thing is millions or tens of millions of dollars. i don't really know how my tax dollars are being used or if we're all being taking for a ride (no pun intended).
No kidding. It seems like a half mile stretch of Greenway would cost millions. Crazy
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Old 12-28-06, 08:31 AM   #8
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The costs don't look to be way out of line for what is being done. Those costs will include the engineering, development of standards (if they don't already exist) and the necessary oversight and management. Also small projects like a trail tend to have higher per unit cost than say a street repaving project due to restricted access and the additional labor involved. As an example, it costs my company just as much to set up and provide basic administration for a $50,000 project as it does for a $500,000 project. Also many companies are not set up to handle a narrow paving project like a trail, so you have a more limited number of bidders.

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Old 12-28-06, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
the price of projects around here are astronomically high. it's hard to grasp when even the smallest thing is millions or tens of millions of dollars. i don't really know how my tax dollars are being used or if we're all being taking for a ride (no pun intended).

Most states have rules that require public projects to pay the union wage for construction workers, even when non-union labor is employed. Sort of like forcing people to grocery shop in the gourmet food section only. That, and the tangle of safety and environmental regulations, and before ya know it, pop goes the weasel.

And politicians are weasels already...

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Old 12-28-06, 01:12 PM   #10
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Concrete, glass, steel, etc. - it's all gone up a lot. Our costs escalate about 1% per month at the moment. It's also difficult, as someone else mentioned, to get these types of projects bid on. It's best if they can be bundled for a single contractor. There are a lot of costs that go beyond construction as wahoonc showed above. You may also need to factor in the cost of land acquisition in many cases. Don't even ask about the costs for recruiting minority-owned firms to satisfy quotas set by politicians.
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Old 12-28-06, 02:08 PM   #11
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There are several reasons for the increased cost in construction lately but the single biggest factor that I've heard is the cost of materials; a lot of that started with the reconstruction after hurricane Katrina; then of course, there is the construction in Iraq; China and their boom in prep for the Olympics... Many contractors right now are increasing their bids on my government projects, too.

You'd be outraged if I told you the square foot estimates that my department is using on some of the facilities that we design (I work for a state agency).

Somebody somewhere is definately making a fortune and taxpayers are foot with the bill!
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Old 12-29-06, 09:21 PM   #12
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The biggest jump in costs around here is for aggregate. The stream gravel or crushed rock used for concrete, asphalt paving, and trail/road base. The main and inexpensive source was from a river that also carried spawning "endangered" fish. Scratch that source. Now we use rock from 6 local quarries, several regional quarries, and some rock shipped over 1,000 miles from Canada. And, people around most of the quarries are fighting the increased truck traffic.
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Old 12-31-06, 12:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
Could it be because contractors are spending more time then they want doing trail construction projects instead of the jobs they want to do & make more money on, like roadways, etc. so they have increased the costs?
Nope. Construction costs are rising across the board. Not evenly, perhaps, but that'll be due to markets for particular material and labor.
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Old 12-31-06, 07:13 PM   #14
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The dollar is no good when it comes to paying for real things or real work. Then there is the insurance, taxes workmans comp, and on and on. Right here in the bay aea we're spending billions on a new bridge. Retrofitting for earthquake safety would be far cheaper, but Caltrans wanted to build a new bridge. So they lied about how expensive retrofitting would be and about how cheap the new bridge would be. The powers that be bought into it long enough that they couldn't get out. Now we're stuck. Why, on rereading this mini rant, I realized it sounds just like Iraq. So much for accountability. bk
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