Tuesday, November 23, 2004

How Bridge Building Is Like College Food Service

So this one time, at CMC, these food service companies were competing for a contract. Two of the finalists provided bids that were within reach of each other and made sense in the industry. The third came in $500 per student below the next lowest bid.

A prudent person might ask exactly how a company could offer such drastic savings. What exactly are you serving there, Aramark? How old IS that milk? CMC went with the underbidders and the students quickly learned what $500 less per student tasted like (one word, rhymes with "wrap").

The Bay Bridge's east span has become the bridge that ate the Bay Area budget. Now, there is a proposal to change bridges mid-bay. For between $200 and $500 million in savings, current plans for an innovative, landmark structure could be scrapped in favor of a different design. But in a project with a multibillion dollar price tag that aims to be an architectual jewel in the Bay Area's crown of sparkling bridges - that, by the way, spans a few areas of historically nasty seismic activity - is $200 worth it? Especially when no actual plans for this Plan B bridge have been drafted?

Definitely check out this article for some more compelling arguements and concerns over this potential latest budget casualty.

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