Boondoggle

As a part of the Prospect Mountain interchange project, the roadway on Chenango Street that goes underneath the Route 81/17 highway was renovated into a concrete tunnel.  Recently installed lights in this 150 foot-long structure include 89 separate LED light fixtures connected to 89 separate circuit boxes, 38 on either side of the roadway and 13 down the center of the roof.

After FOILing the NYS Dept of Transportation, I learned that the cost of the lighting portion of the project was $336,914.23.

Inexplicably, all 89 of the lights are on during the day.  Only four of the fixtures are operable at night.  The daytime illumination is so bright; you literally need sunglasses as you drive past.  At night, the four fixtures do a completely adequate job of illuminating the entire structure.

The State did with 89 light boxes what it should have done with just four, wasting over $300,000.00 in the process.

IMG_1835Over $300,000.00 of tax dollars squandered in this single project alone.  Lord only knows how many more examples of boondoggle, waste and over-spending exist in a project of this magnitude when those who do the work also oversee their own accountability.

 

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