Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rossi Fails the Smell Test

Rocco wants a tunnel. Rocco throws out a number to build it. The Star has the real numbers here.

Jesse McLean
Staff Reporter

Rossi’s Toronto Tunnel
The claim: Rocco Rossi said his proposed Toronto Tunnel — an 8-kilometre subterranean expressway — could cost as little as $105 million per kilometer.

Background: Rossi’s tunnel would extend the Allen Expressway, which currently ends at Eglinton Ave. W., all the way to the Gardiner Expressway.

The eight-kilometre traffic tunnel would be financed through a public-private partnership, he said.

“A determination of an exact cost estimate will require an engineering report,” Rossi’s campaign said in a statement. “However, similar projects in Switzerland, Australia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Nanjing, and some underway, like in Miami, suggest that the cost . . . can be as little as $105 million per kilometre.”

Smell test: While it’s easy to raise the spectre of Boston’s Big Dig, where a 5.6-km tunnel ended up costing the city about $22 billion (it was budgeted to be $2.8 billion), The best comparison to Rossi’s plan is Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct, said Brian Garrod, of the engineering consulting firm Hatch Mott MacDonald.

The 3.1-km tunnel’s size — 16.5 metres in diameter with two stacked, two-lane expressways — is similar to what the Toronto Tunnel would look like, he said.

The cost of simply designing and building the Alaskan Way is about $1.4 billion — roughly $450 million per kilometre, four times more than Rossi’s projection.

In addition, cities generally have to pay easements to owners whose property a tunnel passes beneath, a significant cost considering the number of properties that lie between Eglinton and the Gardiner. Easements could be 10 per cent to 50 per cent of each property’s value, Garrod said. Also, actual costs for mega-projects such as a traffic tunnel, on average, come out to 28 per cent higher than the forecast costs, according to studies. The Alaskan Way project has $415 million set aside for cost overruns and inflation, which brings the tunnel’s total cost to $1.96 billion — roughly $632 million per kilometre.


penlan said...

Why do you hate Rossi so much? I should think that the push should be, at this point, anyone but Ford. Ford looks like he will cause ctastrophe in TO if he's elected mayor. And I don't live in the GTA but am still concerned.

James Curran said...

Hate? I'm not even close to "disliking" him. Let alone hate. He's the wrong guy for the job. Hands down, the wrong guy/girl.

Selling off Toronto hydro and digging an ill-conceived tunnel is similar to the Harperites selling every Canadian asset we have and then building more prisons. He's a Conservative and NOT what Toronto needs.

His arrogance at 8 percent in the polls is beyond comprehension at this point.

Whatever his motivation is, it is sure not to stop Rob Ford.

penlan said...

Well hopefully he'll step down soon & back Smitherman or Pantalone. Staying in with such a low % would help Ford, for sure.

CanadianSense said...

Thank you for an insight into the faulty estimates regarding the tunnel.

My family and friends in Toronto are looking at Rob Ford because of his tax fighter platform.

They have not changed their mind because of the "warts" presented by the Star and the other candidates.

They are not interested in sending any more money to City Hall.

James Curran said...

Rob Ford hasn't got a clue on how the budgetary process of government works. Unfortunately for your family, they will be in a very large hole from which the City of Toronto will take two decades to dig out of after Rob Ford's second year in office.

He's a joke and his plan has a 250 to 500 million dollar black hole to fill. His numbers will not jive. I doubt we'll ever know what his budget looks like before the election.

I'm looking forward to Smitherman's costed plan next Monday though.

CanadianSense said...

You may be right about Rob Ford but your choice has no clue about respect for taxpayers.

Calling fans of Rob Ford "chubby chasers", his handling of E-health costs, the Green Energy Act, the lack of accountability at the provincial level makes him dead man walking for reasonable voters.

James Curran said...

Rob Ford is a disgrace. His real life issues prove that.
As for Smitherman's record? E-health started long before his time as health minister. Long long. Like 10 years ago.

And these sad asses Ford and Pantalone have been at T O City Hall for years and have done sweet shit to stop the mess the city is in. Ford is part of the problem too my friend. He sits at that council just like Miller and Pantalone.

And Ford doesn't like immigrants? Has he looked around his city? There's two or three living there, isn't there?

He and Pants should be broomed!

CanadianSense said...

I don't accept your view Rob Ford does not like immigrants.

I don't accept the voters in Etobicoke are bigots and send in a dangerous radical person to City Hall to do nothing.

The Nanos Poll shows he has support across the city from all groups including downtown.

These polls show they don't trust the media narrative and weighed the the record of the others.

You may be right the E-health problem is not solely his but I listed several issues.

A platform won't work if people don't trust you.

Apparently the polls are upsetting with a 24 point lead. Will it last, not sure.

Attacks on Rob Ford have only helped him move farther ahead so I will recommend more attacks.

It may be too late to present an alternative that voters trust to reign in the spending at City Hall.

James Curran said...

Really? You don't accept my view?

I guess that means you accept Mr. Ford's

His words. Not mine.

CanadianSense said...

Rob Ford numbers have gone up after the media and opponents tried to frame his views as "anti-immigrant"?

The funny thing is James if you look at the polls on immigration in many countries including Canada they share Rob's objections.

Is City of Toronto a basket case? Yes.

Overall, 46 per cent of respondents (+5 since August 2009) say immigration is having a negative effect in Canada, while 34 per cent (-3) believe it is having a positive effect. Albertans (56%) and Ontarians (55%) are more likely to view immigration in a negative light than respondents in all other provinces.

Can Toronto continue to raise taxes and fees without changes? No

What programs, policies do you want to cut? Does Rob Ford have details and a record on pointing to waste at City Hall?

Do the other candidates have a record of eliminating waste and a call for a smaller government?

Here is a list of Polls from Angus

This is a global shift during tough times re costs, big government, immigration, taxes etc.

The Democrats, Liberal-Republicans are in a great deal of trouble.

Do you believe 70% of Arizona voters are anti-immigrant too?

James Curran said...

Canada is a country of immigrants. And that is a fact. My granparents and their parents were immigrants. Chances are yours were too. This country was built by them. That my friend is a fact.

I couldn't give a flying fuck what those bigot bastards in Arizona believe in. Arizona? The same state that refused to enact Martin Luther King day and lost major sporting events as a result and millions of dollars in tourism. That state? And that's what you point to?

How about this, Rob can move down to Arizona and become governor. he can take Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck with him.

CanadianSense said...

James you see bigots, I see families worried about jobs and taxes in the US.

Canada and the US have a stellar record on accepting immigrants.

Progressives like to use a paintbrush and suggest if we have a concern with the costs of immigration we must be racist.

That game, won't work anymore. Look at Europe and the November US Fall elections to see the push back.

My parents did not have the luxury afforded immigrants today.

The culture of entitlement is failing, taxpayers have had enough and will throw out Liberals in denial.