Why It Was Faster To Build Subways in 1900

Ran across this article, and could not help it, but to post the below quotes:
  • The image of a single engineer wielding a piece of technology no more sophisticated than a hammer isn’t what most people have in mind when they think of modern infrastructure projects. But it may be the fastest technology available to New Yorkers, even now—especially now, as the Second Avenue subway, a project that began planning in the 1910s, has been under construction since 2007, is not yet open. By contrast, workers laid over 9 miles of track across Manhattan in only four years after initial groundbreaking. “The fact that we still don’t have a subway under Second Avenue is kind of amazing,” says Polly Desjarlais, a senior educator at the New York Transit Museum.
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  • So if we could build a new subway line in four years back in the early 1900s, why is the Second Avenue line taking so long? Why are we still using so much infrastructure that’s more than 100 years old? What has changed in the last hundred or so years for the subway?
  • Why It Was Faster To Build Subways in 1900
The City Hall station of the IRT Lexington Avenue Line opened on October 27, 1904.
The City Hall station of the IRT Lexington Avenue Line opened on October 27, 1904..jpg
 
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  • Onijunbei

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    Nothing that strange about it. Railroads were built even faster. But railroads were not gonna cut it in the middle of a huge city. Get some Irish and Italian cheap labor, and everyone on the same page, ya, easy to build subways. But nowadays, you have budgets, accounting, commisions, materials "falling off the trucks" or "going missing". Money "falling off the truck" or going missing. You have construction vehicles, safety procedures, OSHA, Unions, Mafia, Construction Crews, flaggers, Millions upon millions of people, excavation of older lines, the moving of sewer, steam, and water piping to new locales to make way for the subway....yup, gonna take much longer.
     
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