Billion dollar boondoggle

First it was the bridge to nowhere, now they’re actually building nowhere.

A $1 billion city without residents will be developed in Lea County near Hobbs, officials said Tuesday, to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets.

I guess we can’t let China build all the empty cities.

This entry was posted in Fail. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Billion dollar boondoggle

  1. Chris says:

    Finally, a market for the Chevy Volt!

  2. Gudis says:

    That sounds like the fucking Big Rock Candy Mountain for squatters.

  3. As long as the taxpayers ain’t on the hook for it, I’m all for it. After a first read of the article, it looks like it’s being done on private investment. Good. I can actually see a lot of use from a project like that.


  4. Instinct says:

    The entire thing is supported by private funds. They specifically kept the government out of it.

  5. alan says:

    They claim that it will be supported by private funds. I remain skeptical. The business model seems to rely on companies paying for the privilege of testing things there. What isn’t said is why there instead of anywhere else.

    It smells of smoke, mirrors and bullshit.

  6. Kristopher says:

    At least the bridge to nowhere had the potential to be useful ( Juneau seriously needed more real estate to expand, it was in the same trap that Portland was in before the first Willamette bridge was built ).

  7. JFM says:

    I can’t TELL you how much I hate the phrase “Bridge to Nowhere”. The funding was for two bridges, one to link Ketchikan to it’s airport which you now have to take a ferry to. The second bridge was to link Anchorage to Pt. Mackenzie, which is so close that you can see indivdual trees from Anchorage. It is 120+ miles, one way, from Anchorage to Pt. Mackenzie. It is less than a mile across the water from Anchorage. There is a lot of undeveloped, private land at Pt. Mackenzie, there is very little undeveloped land left in Anchorage that is private. Any other place in America a bridge would have been built years ago. As a colony, Alaska gets the short end of the INFRASTRUCTURE stick.

  8. Rignerd says:

    What, are they afraid humans will contaminate their tests with reality?

    Didn’t they watch flushed away? the big plot came to fruition at half time of the world cup when everybody went to the loo at the same time and flushed all at once.

  9. PaulB says:

    I would guess that they’re using a scientific investment model similar to how MIT funds the Woods Hole Oceanographic institute. Fund, maintain and manage the baseline infrastructure, then open up pre-designated areas for grant-based research using hard rents for space and services. As an example, for a 14 month period I paid $600/sq foot/month for a private wet lab with 2800 gal/min ambient temp seawater piped in, plus another $120/sqft/month for refrigerated seawater, with additional bills for a refrigerator, assorted glassware and a glass booth to keep electronics dry. This was in 1999, so I’d imagine it’s more now.

    It’s a very profitable business. The research I did cost about $440,000 for payroll, equipment and consumables. The total grant was $5 million.

    One other, more fun point: imagine the ivory-tower outrage when researchers interact and have to share intersections and resources with other researchers. My dad used to tell great stories of competing scientists getting in slap-fights related to scheduling conflicts with the submarine ‘Alvin’ when he was deployed with her.

Comments are closed.