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Fri Jan 11, 2019, 04:35 PM

From a civil engineer: the wall cost exceeds 50 bln & can not be completed in trump's lifetime.

From a Houston-based civil engineer, shared on FB.
Howdy.

To recap: Iím a licensed structural and civil engineer with a MS in structural engineering from the top program in the nation and over a decade of experience on high-performance projects, and particularly of cleaning up design disasters where the factors werenít properly accounted for, and Iím an adjunct professor of structural analysis and design at UH-Downtown. I have previously been deposed as an expert witness in matters regarding proper construction of walls and the various factors associated therein, and my testimony has passed Daubert.

Am I a wall expert? I am. I am literally a court-accepted expert on walls.

Structurally and civil engineering-wise, the border wall is not a feasible project. Trump did not hire engineers to design the thing. He solicited bids from contractors, not engineers. This means itís not been designed by professionals. Itís a disaster of numerous types waiting to happen.

What disasters?

Off the top of my head...
1) It will mess with our ability to drain land in flash flooding. Anything impeding the ability of water to get where it needs to go (doesnít matter if there are holes in the wall or whatever) is going to dramatically increase the risk of flooding.
2) Messes with all kind of stuff ecologically. For all other projects, we have to do an Environmental Site Assessment, which is arduous. Theyíre either planning to circumvent all this, or they havenít accounted for it yet, because thatís part of the design process, and this thing hasnít been designed.
3) The prototypes they came up with are nearly impossible to build or donít actually do the job. This article explains more:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.engineering.com/amp/17599.html

And so on.

The estimates provided for the cost are arrived at unreasonably. You can look for yourself at the two-year-old estimate that you see everyone citing.

http://fronterasdesk.org/sites/default/files/field/docs/2016/07/Bernstein-%20The%20Trump%20Wall.pdf

It does not account for rework, complexities beyond the prototype design, factors to prevent flood and environmental hazard creation, engineering redesign... Itís going to be higher than $50bn. The contractors will hit the government with near CONSTANT change orders. ďCost overrunĒ will be the name of the game. It will not be completed in Trumpís lifetime.

Iím a structural forensicist, which means Iím called in when things go wrong. This is a project that WILL go wrong. When projects go wrong, the original estimates are just *obliterated*. And when that happens, good luck getting it fixed, because there arenít that many forensicists out there to right the ship, particularly not that are willing to work on a border wall projectó a large quotient of us are immigrants, and besides, we canít afford to bid on jobs that are this political. Weíre small firms, and weíre already busy, and we donít gamble our reputations on political footballs. So youíd end up with a revolving door of contractors making a giant, uncoordinated muddle of things, and itíd generally be a mess. Good money after bad. The GAO agrees with me.

And it wonít be effective. I could, right now, purchase a 32 foot extension ladder and weld a cheap custom saddle for the top of the proposed wall so that I can get over it. I donít know who they talked to about the wall design and its efficacy, but it sure as heck wasnít anybody with any engineering imagination.

Another thing: we are not far from the day where inexpensive drones will be able to pick up and carry someone. This will happen in the next ten years, and itís folly to think that the coyotes who ferry people over the border wonít purchase or create them. Theyíre low enough, quiet enough, and small enough to quickly zip people over any wall we could build undetected with our current monitoring setup.

Letís have border security, by all means, but letís be smart about it. This is not smart. Itís not effective. Itís NOT cheap. The returns will be diminishing as technology advances, too. This is a ridiculous idea that will never be successfully executed and, as such, would be a monumental waste of money. 🤷🏻‍♀️

This is set to public. Have a blast sharing it.

23 replies, 1386 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply From a civil engineer: the wall cost exceeds 50 bln & can not be completed in trump's lifetime. (Original post)
mahina Jan 11 OP
tanyev Jan 11 #1
Caliman73 Jan 11 #2
mahina Jan 11 #7
tanyev Jan 11 #15
mahina Jan 11 #8
mahina Jan 11 #9
dalton99a Jan 11 #3
mahina Jan 11 #5
smirkymonkey Jan 11 #4
mahina Jan 11 #6
Mr.Bill Jan 11 #10
mahina Jan 11 #19
House of Roberts Jan 11 #11
Oneironaut Jan 11 #12
warmfeet Jan 11 #13
mahina Jan 11 #18
GReedDiamond Jan 11 #14
NCjack Jan 11 #16
mahina Jan 11 #17
NCjack Jan 11 #20
mahina Jan 11 #21
sprinkleeninow Jan 12 #23
sprinkleeninow Jan 12 #22

Response to mahina (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 05:39 PM

1. Yes, but the opportunity to divert $5 billion to grifty supporters and associates is NOW.

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Response to tanyev (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:27 PM

2. I think that is a small part of it.

This is mainly political. Trump desperately needs to keep a high profile campaign promise. He is also trying to use the "foot in the door" technique putting the government on the hook for 5.7 billion to start, then we just have to keep going otherwise the money is just wasted.

I am sure that he has some cronies waiting on that 5 billion, but that is small potatoes. He wants to drag the government into a 100 billion dollar plus boondoggle so that he can brag to his racist, xenophobic little base, and impress Hannity.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:42 PM

7. You may well be right. Surely so, about it being political.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:49 PM

15. Oh, sure, the looting and pillaging is a bonus, but it's a guaranteed bonus.

You know if any sections of wall ever do get built there will soon be stories of missing money, substandard materials and shoddy workmanship.

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Response to tanyev (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:42 PM

8. May they fail.

Grift-wise.

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Response to tanyev (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:43 PM

9. True, and I sure hope they are disgraced by it.

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Response to mahina (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:37 PM

3. Kick

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:40 PM

5. thank you

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Response to mahina (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:40 PM

4. Thank you for posting this!

As always, the biggest argument against this wall is that it is simply a stupid, ineffective, ridiculously expensive idea.

It is pointless. There is no point in debating this any further.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:41 PM

6. thanks, I completely agree. But not just 5.7 billion stupid, 50+ billion stupid *while* our

air traffic controllers are not being paid!

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Response to mahina (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:08 PM

10. And that doesn't even account for the cost

of the next Democratic President to tear down what they do build.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:41 PM

19. ASAP.

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Response to mahina (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:12 PM

11. Love the part about the drones.

Technology will render the wall obsolete.

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Response to mahina (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:23 PM

12. We're all being bullshitted by a conman.

All Trump cares about is 2020. Why? Because he's amassing power and wealth. He knows that, as long as people think he's building a wall, he'll be okay. It doesn't matter if it's ever finished, or if it will ever work.

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Response to Oneironaut (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:40 PM

13. Yep.

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Response to Oneironaut (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:40 PM

18. Yep seconded.

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Response to mahina (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:48 PM

14. KnR for an actual expert's analysis...

...and fuck Motherfucker and his enablers, particularly McConnell.

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Response to mahina (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:58 PM

16. Thank you, Mahina for your post. When the sequel to

P.G. Hall's famous book "Great Planning Disasters" (1982; ISBN 0520046072) is written, The Trump Wall (if started) will be Chapter 1. Here is what I recall about the book.

Engineering projects "designed" by politicians and bureaucrats (incompetents and liars) and turned over to contractors for construction have these important characteristics: a) the minimum cost overrun is a factor 7x; b) the completion dates are constantly extended by years.

The case studies in the book are: a) London's Third Airport;, b) London's Motorways; c) The Anglo-French Concorde, d) San Francisco's BART System, e) Sydney's Opera House, and f) Two Near-Diasters: California's New Campuses and Britain's National Library.

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Response to NCjack (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:39 PM

17. My joy. Note please that I didn't write it.

I flunked calculus, and that was that. Hats off to all math and science folks.

The original poster lives and teaches in Texas.

Do you think I should make that clearer in my post?

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Response to mahina (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:47 PM

20. Perhaps you could contact the author and suggest a contact with the Speaker's

office or the House Appropriations Cmte.

Thank you for the OP.

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Response to NCjack (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:12 PM

21. Hokay. I'll send to Brian Schatz and Mazie too.

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Response to mahina (Reply #21)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 01:54 PM

23. Thanks so much for this contribution. Way eye-opening to

lay people.

We know it's a stupid 'idee' from mr. dumass, but with this specific and expert layout, WOW!



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Response to NCjack (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 01:48 PM

22. That thought came to me also. You gotta try every which-way.

Never discount ahead of time that it's pointless.

Never know when their light bulbs will turn on.

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