Wednesday, January 31, 2007

From the January 27th WSJ,

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina flattened two bridges, one for cars, one for trains. Sixteen months later, the automobile bridge remains little more than pilings. The railroad bridge is busy with trains.

The difference: The still-wrecked bridge is owned by the U.S. government. The other bridge is owned by railroad giant CSX Corporation. Within weeks of Katrina's landfall, CSX dispatched construction crews to fix the freight line; six months later, the bridge reopened. Even a partial reopening of the road bridge, part of U.S. Highway 90, is at least five months away.

"It shows the difference between the private sector and the public sector," says a government bureaucrat. "By the time CSX was done with its bridge, we were just getting around to letting the contract on ours."
There is not much more to be said. When the Government is put in charge of "essential resources" it always fails to manage them as well as a private entity would. Those who want the bridge reopened the most are not those in charge of making it happen.

HT Carpe Diem


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