Unnecessary projects

A reader provides an interesting (and insurancy/actuarially driven) analysis of the need...or lack thereof...for replacing the Causeway:

With the Hospital, I can at least see the need for work to be done to improve facilities. I don't know why anything non emergency in nature needs to be in a central parish - so why doesn't the St George's or Sandy's ends get consideration. Anyway, as I said I can see need for money to be spent on the hospital. What drives me insane is the plan to spend money on completely unnecessary projects - top of my gripe list is the idea to spend $60 million on the Causeway.

Assume the gvt can borrow for 5% (optimistic over the long term, but easy on the math - if we do this on budget (he, he!), the cost is equivalent to paying $3 million every year for the benefit of the improved Causeway.

As shown by Florence, in years with either no hurricane or a maximum of say Cat 1, there is negligible damage to the Causeway. This scenario probably accounts for (even assuming a ramp up in hurricane strikes) about 95% of years - i.e. I'm saying Fabian is a 1 in 20 year event rather than the historic 1 in 50+.

For Cat 2-5, Let's look at Fabian - Causeway out for about a week, and
slow for a couple of months. We now have fast ferries from the East end which alleviate most cost to average citizens, so the issue is contact with (1) the airport, and (2) the oil docks.

If the Causeway is majorly damaged, and takes time to be repaired, chances are the airport is the same (ref: Fabian), so the lost week won't matter since planes won't be flying in either! The oil docks is a bigger issue, but let's be pessimists, and assume the lost time is a
month, which costs the island in lost productivity, and some extra costs to get gas to the rest of the island in a different manner - I can't see the cost of creating a temporary barge system to get gas trucks over being more than say $250,000 per day, even if the current Gvt got Terrence Smith of BHC to run it! Add in a hefty $2.5 million to rebuild, and the cost of this 5% of cases equals $10 million.

Overall expected cost = 95% * $0 + 5% * $10 million = $500,000.

I don't want to pay at least 6 times the expected cost to build some new "solution".

While I appreciate Burch's activity, I regret that he can't do a simple analysis such as this to realize what a completly idiotic waste of $60 million this is.

The other big issue with an out of service causeway that the reader didn't mention is emergency access for ambulances etc.. But after initially being ambivalent on the causeway project I've come around to the position that it is unnecessary, for the reasons listed above.

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