Salt water vs. infrastructure

Discuss

11 Responses to “Salt water vs. infrastructure”

  1. kartwaffles says:

    Wonder if there was a rush on zinc sacrificial anodes before the storm hit?

  2. Ramone says:

    Sounds like an excellent opportunity to invest in rebuilding infrastructures all over the easter seaboard. Imagine the JOBS and GROWTH that could be spurred.

    • EH says:

      Don’t forget mobbed up contracts!

    • Winterhaven says:

      Broken Window Fallacy
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

      “It’s a tempting argument, really. After all, every time something catastrophic happens, whether it’s a house fire, an earthquake, or a devastating storm, there is indeed economic activity created. Most immediately, the companies involved in recovery and debris removal benefit, often at highly inflated prices given the supply and demand issues involved, as do the people that work for them. However, as I’ve noted before, this is a rather short-sighted argument that ignores the costs that are incurred when a massive disaster like Sandy occurs, not to mention lost opportunity costs of the investments and purchases that would have been made if businesses, homeowners, and the government had not been forced to divert funds because of the destruction that Sandy unleashed on the United States”

      http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/hurricane-sandy-and-the-broken-window-fallacy/

      • Sparrowhawk says:

         Ah, but it’s not as simple as it might seem on the face of it. Under the entirety of Manhattan island, lay a subterranean layer-cake of aging utilities dating back to as late as the 1880′s. There is a huge workforce of utility contractors and subcontractors that have to be specially trained to know how to patch/fix such old tech in a spaghetti mess of haphazard lines. Training costs money. Disruptions to service cost money. And obsolete equipment abandoned in place underground doesn’t exactly cost money, but it does add to the difficulty of fixing what does work.

        Now, where your counter-argument falls down is this. Saltwater has gotten into all sorts of underground and under grade equipment in NYC. You can spend money to rip it out and replace it with new or re-certified infrastructure/equipment now, and spend MUCH less on maintenance from here on out. (You could also replace what just acts faulty and spend a little more on maintenance.) Or you could do what your “broken window” argument makes you seem like you are advocating, which is do nothing now and wait for it all to fail. And fail it will.

  3. Mark Dow says:

    Fun electrochemistry for kids and curious adults: Two coins of different metal, not touching, in a shallow plate of water with a dash of salt. Wait days. Try foreign coins, different salts.

  4. MrJM says:

    Salt water is still winning.

     
    Salt water plays the long game.

    Salt water always wins.

  5. My suggestion would be to drain it and flush it with fresh water (river water would do) several times.  It’s not like anything is going to get any MORE wet than it already has and they’re going to go around and wash most of the stuff off with water anyway.

    • acerplatanoides says:

      Did you  miss the part about the irreversible chemical reactions leading to degradation of the entire system?

      We’re going to have to rebuild a bunch of it.  And Chris Christie is going to need to accept federal rail money this time.

  6. pjcamp says:

    Greeenemeier! I hated him in Animal House.

  7. Paul Renault says:

    Salt water isn’t the same as sea water.  Sea water is way nastier.

    Many companies list different material resistance properties for the two.

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