Thursday, October 8, 2009

Utah construction

There is a building that was built near where I live, as part of a slew of new office buildings that were put in an abandoned section of VA property. One of the buildings, which has been up for at least a year, had a great big banner that said "coming soon; Red Butte Bakery" or something like that. The coming soon sign has been up there for most of the time we've been married. There was street resurfacing a few days ago which forced me to walk by the building. I looked inside as I went past and noticed that there is just a gravel floor that has been so neglected that knee-high shrubs have appeared.

When I was a missionary in California, I noticed that their construction industry is cram packed with contractors. There are so many, that competition works for the public good. The projects are under pressure to get done quickly, so if a contractor takes too long on a project, or milks it for more money, or does a shoddy job, then they won't ever get hired again, because there are so many other contractors to choose from.

In Utah, it seems like there are so few contractors, that when they get a job, they take their sweet time, woops! go over budget, and drag it out as long as they can. Or maybe the only requirement is low cost. For example, when I lived in Sandy, every few years the major roads would get resurfaced. Lets say they had a total of five miles of street to do. The company would take one week to first put up cones and block off all the surfaces that need work. In reality, the coning can be done before noon on one day. So the cones would hang out for at least a week, with no sign of work on the road. Then the old asphalt would get stripped off at the rate of about an eighth of a mile per day, until they got the whole 5-mile area of road stripped. Then they wait two weeks, making a total of about a month spent on just stripping the asphalt.

Then they would start laying down new asphalt. They make some headway on this, and then it snows, because that's how long its taken them to do this. So they wait for a month for a lull in storms, and for the snow to mostly melt so they get going on the resurfacing again. This continues through the winter. They finish sections of road, but they don't take those cones down, because they aren't done with whole project. Sometime next spring, the asphalt is all down. Then we get to wait three weeks for the new roads to get painted. Once they get painted, the cones stay up for another week and a half, because apparently it takes a full eleven days for paint to dry. Then the cones disappear.

A week later, cones appear, blocking the other half of the road that needs surfacing.

If this happened anywhere on my mission, the original company would be dropped after two months, and a new one would be brought in and the job would be complete two and a half weeks later.

In the Bee Hive state, where the motto is Industry, why do these thing happen? Why let a building sit unused and unfinished for two years? Stupidity? Thievery? Legislative Conflicts of Interest? A sense of powerlessness from the general public? I don't know, but its a waste of time and money.


utah asphalt contractor said...

Utah Construction also diversified into land development. Through a series of acquisitions, Utah Construction purchased the Moraga Ranch in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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