What’s worth $1,000 an inch?

by Me

A portion of the funds needed to build a planned $600 million busway between Hartford and New Britain was approved by the state bonding commission, CTMirror.com reports, though it did meet some opposition.

According to The Connecticut Mirror, Sen. Andrew Roraback voiced some concerns over the project, the cost for which the state will foot $113 million.

Though he professed to be “not very good at math,” Roraback, the Mirror reports, said the project would cost $952 per inch of busway.

That, dear readers, is as dumb as it gets. Is the busway to be made out of gold? Will there be wait service and champagne cocktails?

Roraback’s point is well taken, and he wins the award for least dumb legislator (should such an award be created). Just for fun, let’s do the math on some other projects, and see how much they cost on an incremental basis.

Empire State of Inches

– At 1,454 feet, or 17,448 inches from base to lightening rod tip, The Empire State Building cost $40,948,900 to build in 1931. That’s $2,347 per inch in 1931 dollars, or $31,480 per inch by today’s standards.

Big Heads

– Mount Rushmore (the monument, not the 1960s band) features the heads of four U.S. presidents, each head a whopping 60 feet in height. The project cost $989,992 to build, or $4,125 per foot, per head, by 1941 standards, when the monument was completed. Today, each head would have cost $63,176.57 per foot.

Cost per bullet

– According to one blog, the United States fires about 100 million bullets in Iraq in each year, at least as of 2004. The (reverse) Roraback Math Method: A 50-round box of 9mm bullets costs about $9 at Wal-Mart. That’s 18 cents per bullet, or $18,000,000 worth of bullets fired each year in Iraq.

Conclusion? A bit less than $1,000 per inch for a busway seems a steal.


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