I live near the connection of two major interstates, 880 and 280, and frequently take it. Work has been going on to improve the connection for quite a long time; the project was approved in 2011 and under construction as least as early as 2013. Most of the time the resulting constriction is only a minor inconvenience, but during rush hour it can result in a significant delay in getting from one highway to the other.
It seems as though what they are doing should take no more than a few weeks. Four possible explanations of why it is instead taking years occur to me:
1. I may be missing important elements of the process that make it much more time consuming than I would expect. Perhaps there are many steps that have to be taken in sequence. Perhaps some part of the process, such as the drying and curing of concrete, takes much longer than I realize.
2. Perhaps doing it slowly is a little easier than doing it fast and the people making the relevant decisions, the construction firm and the California Department of Transport that employs them, have little or no incentive to take account of the inconvenience to drivers of having a major intersection under construction.
3. Perhaps the construction company has persuaded friends in the Department to agree to contract terms that pay by time rather than by project, making it in their interest to stretch out the process.
4. Perhaps the government officials and the politicians above them believe that longer is better, that the political benefits of keeping drivers aware of their highway dollars at work more than outweigh the political cost of continued delays.
There are probably other possible explanations that have not occurred to me. Does anyone know what the right explanation is? Any evidence on how long such projects take in other states or other countries?