There’s been a lot of discussion around the House amendment that puts Seattle taxpayers on the hook for viaduct-replacement cost overruns.  The Senate did carry the amendment through to the final bill, though it may not be possible for the state to enforce that provisionSome even wondered what it would mean if other municipalities had to pay for their overruns, as of course they don’t. The whole thing had me wondering, how is it that “most projects” have overruns?

It seems like if you know that most big transportation projects have overruns, you would make a plan for the likelihood of overruns and factor that into the cost. We do exactly this in the software world, and Office, the product I work on, takes as long to complete (three years) and has far more people working on it than a tunnel under downtown, so it seems madness to me that “most projects” could come in over budget if planning for likely overruns was built in to the cost early. Well here comes Danny Westneat:

[A] professor at Oxford University in England has done a compelling series of studies trying to get at why big public-works projects such as bridges, tunnels and light-rail systems almost always turn out to be far more costly than estimated. “It cannot be explained by error,” sums up one of his papers, matter-of-factly. “It is best explained by strategic misrepresentation — that is, lying.” … It started seven years ago, when he published the first large study of cost overruns in 258 mega-transportation projects. He found that nine out of 10 came in over budget, and that the average cost overrun was nearly 30 percent. Rail systems had an average cost escalation of 45 percent.

Emphasis added. It’s worth reading the whole thing.

At least in the case of the this SR-99 tunnel, we have a decent idea of what exactly needs to be done. Bored tunnels have become very common, and the technology for building them is well developed. The price tag of the overall project went down not because of “value engineering” but rather because the streetcars and bus improvements were dropped off, so its not exactly like the politicians changed the estimate to fit the budget, but rather they changed the project. So I don’t know how likely overruns are, but this might be worth thinking back to if they arise.

45 Replies to “Cost Overruns”

  1. The other confusion that rears its ugly head is the Budget Dollar vs. the Year Of Expenditure Dollar issue.

    One has to know which is being reported, and then track each report to see what is being compared to what.

    It’s easier to state the problem initially in Budget dollars, since you have recent history to supply the numbers, but the crysta ball gets cloudy when you start giving a YOE estimate.


    1. That’s true, unexpectedly high inflation would drive the final “price” higher. However, since the gas tax is flat, it doesn’t change with inflation and in fact might be lower.

  2. In very large projects, taking many years to go from conception/approval to completion, there are usually several changes of the guard at the top.
    The temptation to provide arguements and numbers in the early stages that help your cause can be overwhelming. It’s human nature to put your best face on when trying to sell the project, knowing that someone else will likely have to deal with ‘unforseen circumstances, especially in government, where the consequences aren’t too severe, and demands along the way just keep getting out of control.
    Low ball an Office Project on purpose, and your likely to be out on the street, and the story follows you for a long time.

    1. When any project is first conceptualized, the only figures that make any sense to work with are ones from the most recent projects that are most like the one you are planning.

      From there you decide the alternatives by evaluating the relative differences in their respective ‘budget’ dollar amount.

      You can move forward on certain projects, but unless you run it through a CEVP (Cost Estimate Validation Process), you won’t know how much it costs until its finished.

      Trying to figure out the YOE amount is like fortune-telling, and it really amounts to an educated guess. There are always unforseen problems that can skew the results.

      It always amazes me to see the news media quote the initial amount (Budget), and then as the project progresses, say how it
      ‘Ballooned’ to almost twice that much.

      On average, most small projects come in about 25% over the initial budget.
      On these mega projects, the difference between Budget and YOE is more like an increase of 75%, if only due to the lifespan of the project.

      And if you think the private sector does it ‘so much more efficiently’ you’ve got to be kidding. I’ve worked in the private sector most all of my professional life, in IT, and for various companies as a consultant. Some good, some bad, but most mediocre, both goverment and private.

      Projects regularly go over budget or past their deadlines.

      What private industry does is ‘rush it into production’, or ‘get it on the market’ regardless, and then pick up the pieces later. You can always market crap, it’s been happening for years.


      1. That’s because private sector projects cut stuff out. My dad’s an engineer and told me a horror stories about a large industrial job that got started just as commodity prices started going crazy (a quick search turned up this nickel price graph). The customer eventually decided to scrap most of the project and do a minor renovation instead because that’s all they could afford.

      2. That’s probably not true. Private companies don’t have to report that sort of stuff like pubic projects have to do so we the public have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

      3. What are you talking about, of course they do! All publicly traded companies have to do SEC filings and report to shareholders.

      4. Holy cow, Andrew, I guess you just weren’t around when Boeing built people-movers and light-rail. There are some good reasons Boeing has never suggested since then that they might get into the bus or railcar business. In fact, they kinda don’t like to talk about it at all.

        In fact, the whole war industry is nothing but cost-overrun. And what else does this country build other than war machines?

        Hospitals? Don’t even go there. Our heavily subsidized agriculture? The financial sector?

        Really, I’m curious- where is the ‘private sector’ where 90% of the projects don’t go over budget? And how would you know? The rigorous inspection by the bond-rating agencies? Government regulation by agencies who routinely let salmonella sweep across the nation? The keen eye of the executive who gets paid a $10 billion performance bonus as his company loses $100 billion in a quarter?

        The funny thing is, I know from reading business history that there were cost-overruns in the past. So how did we get in this pickle today if the overruns aren’t happening anymore?

      5. One can compare the difference of engineer’s estimates to bids and then bids to the final cost of construction.

      6. Annecdotal evidence of overruns has nothing to do with normal business. I’m sure some business projects go over budget. but 90% of them don’t.

        Look at Downtown Bellevue, of all those skyscrapers, how many were 30% over budget? Not one, certainly not 90%

        And the argiculture, hospitals and financial sector don’t go over budget 90% of the time. How does corn go over budget? I’m not sure that makes the slightest bit of sense. How does a credit default swap go over budget? Both of these can lose money, but not because they went over budget. If a computer system for BofA went over budget, that’s one thing, but if they lose money, that’s not over budget.

        The fact the our war-machine goes over budget shows the same thing as these transportation projects: the people holding the rotten bananas at the end of the day (the taxpayers) can’t hold accountable the ones making the bananas rotten (the contractors). The politicians are trying to give the taxpayers what they want and have to deal with the contractors.

      7. Andrew, you made the comment that 90% of private projects come in on budget, which in other comments you support by saying publicly traded companies are audited by the SEC.

        First of all, most of the companies in the US are not publicly traded and are not audited by the SEC. In fact, many of them are never audited by any impartial body at all.

        Secondly, I find it utterly incredible to imagine that even the tiniest fraction of American business would announce their plan and proposed budget, even to shareholders, in a way that could be meaningfully interpreted after the project is done.

        It is even more incredible that any employee of MS would be so unaware of their own corporate history as to unaware of times we have waited for delayed rollouts.

        When a product like the Boeing light-rail is delayed in delivery for years, and one purchaser, the City of Philadelphia, in a short time disposes of their purchase as scrap metal, how in some sense is that not a cost overrun?

        You appear to be unaware that in the first decade of the 20th century the money that had been paid to construct many railroads had forced them into receivership, from which they emerged after shareholders had lost 50-90% of the value of their shares as the road was ‘recapitalized’- and that that happened again in the 30s and the 50s. Building the station may have come in on budget, but if it was no part of a realistic business plan for the railroad, it must surely be a cost overrun, just as charging your employer for a $400 dinner, for a meal the restaurant provided at the advertised cost, would be considered by any auditor to be a cost overrun for your business trip if you didn’t even have a client with you– the exact position the railroads were in when they built elaborate passenger facilities in the same year that Tex Johnston barrel-rolled a 707 over Seafair.

        Naturally, it would be interesting and enjoyable to discuss at depth every industry you think is run transparently and efficiently, but I’m not sure you have the background to use any shortcuts here. Corn, or more commonly maize, for example, is grown with irrigation waters. The Bureau of Reclamation justified building these reservoirs and waterways using ‘cost-benefit’ analyses that, even at the time, were visibly fraudulent. Over the past winter we have seen the flooding that accompanies the raising of the flood plain by siltation in such reclamation systems. This was an ignored, although widely predicted, cost of building the system- ignored, because the people building the system knew the cost would lay in the future. Farmers who profoundly support the system have quite literally experienced a cost overrun.

        But wait! you say- this is a public screwup- all across the nation, form the tenements of Roxbury to the swirling fogs of San Francisco, American pondered farm policy and instructed their elected representatives to build this system. Surely no company like Cargill, which controls over 90% of the largest crop in the world and can break a farmer or co-op like a matchstick, would have built this system. Or if they did- good on them- they didn’t have any cost overrun. They’re among the lucky few who can buy a legislator a $400 dinner and make money doing it.

        Although there are a few other costs of maize, such as world domination to sell the stuff and buy the oil for fertilizers and factory agriculture to grow it, and the sugar tariffs to keep all the costs high enough to produce large profits, let’s go on to some local stuff. When University did a concrete pour for new radiology equipment, and the shuttering broke, and they had to keep pouring while fixing the break and cleaning up tons of concrete flooding the hospital, do you think the contractor had an overrun? When Virginia Mason spent years planning to add floors to their main building, and some amount of time debating whether there would be a ’13th Floor’, and eventually decided to do nothing- weren’t the costs there an overrun on the proper costs of doing nothing?

        When Group Health built an entire hospital on the East Side that wasn’t needed, wasn’t that a bit of an overrun on the proper cost of what should have been done? When Swedish illegally builds surplus beds and then has to hold buildings empty for years while they lobby for exemptions to the law- are those costs they announced publicly to their shareholders as part of the big plan, and we can see later it really did come in on budget?

        And this is before we get to the day-to-day operations costs and accounting. They prescribe unnecessary treatment, drugs, and procedures, and then give the big insurance companies a discount, presenting a bill for the full cost or more to the poorest patients- who can often afford to pay only a fraction before going bankrupt.

        Or how about the operating room? Do you think surgeries end on time, like having your teeth cleaned? Or if they do end on time, and then the patient needs a second surgery because the first was botched, is it only an overrun if your facility has to eat the bill?

        I will admit Andrew is probably right about one thing. Under the current rules of American business, when the Boeing company builds a product that is a total failure for the purchaser, it may put the taxpayer, and the agency that purchased the product, and the worker who thought they would be employed to pay their mortgage but was laid off to cut Boeing costs- all of these people have created their own cost overrun situation. But the Boeing company is in fine shape! No sirree bob! No cost overruns there! Every screw they bought, every pound of epoxy, was delivered on-time for exactly the price advertised. Or if there was a little overrun, why, that would have to be a might sharp-eyed accountant with super-subpoena accountancy powers, who could ferret it out of the mountains of quadruple entry bookkeeping that go with a big jetliner.

        Years ago a family friend who was a contractor for a while unveiled a secret. When a contractor takes out a loan, and then decides to go to Brazil instead of building the project, the bank usually does not call the police or put a ‘wanted’ poster on the wall. They usually figure they would lose more public trust than they would recover in money. They don’t tell you and me.

        And, back when a million was real money, Henry Kaiser remarked that it cost him $50 million to learn that he was too poor to get into the automobile business.

      8. There’s too much there to respond to, not all of which is directly about overruns, but a company I work for announces ship dates “office will ship in x quarter” and announces budgets “it will costs y dolllars”. and it ships on time.

    1. I bet that’s a joke, but if overruns are really 90% likely, the budget is too low.

  3. “The price tag of the overall project went down not because of “value engineering” but rather because the streetcars and bus improvements were dropped off…”

    “Dropping off” the streetcars and buses sure sounds like value engineering to me.

    This is a crappy project. We had a chance to re-think our transportation systems in a much more sustainable way.

    Now we’re getting a shitty highway.

    1. Yep, it’s engineering to a particular set of values, all right. In essence the decision was made to provide a (primarily auto) vehicle tunnel that bypasses downtown. The transit mode improvements that so many of us worked for were dropped by the wayside to “save money”. Short-term thinking for a state that keeps preaching about greenhouse gas reduction.

  4. Is there really no way to stop the tunnel? I am so sick of voting against foolish public projects away and having them shoved down my throat anyway.

  5. The seven years of study included one of the most unexpected high inflation periods in history–cheap credit combined with a worldwide building boom. I’m only surprised that 10% actually came in on estimate!

  6. I don’t know what the time period was for the study. If it was that last seven years concrete and steel prices have soared which drive up cost on mega projects but overall inflation has been very very low.

    There is a very easy way to insure that the State won’t have a cost overrun. It’s called the bid process and the contractor accepts responsibility for cost overruns. Of course if the State wants to fix a price well under what anybody is actually willing to bid then the only way to get the job done is to agree to pay for “overruns”.

    It is just lying plain and simple to put a price on a project that hasn’t yet been engineered and declare there will be no “overruns”.

    I’m surprised nobody questioned this assertion in the Time’s article:

    Our own Sound Transit light-rail system was not included in the study, but it fits the profile. Its budget soared by more than 100 percent, forcing planners to halve the length of the rail line. The shortened line opens this summer.

    I know it’s opening three years late (not two weeks late) but I never remember the initial segment claiming to do anything more than downtown to the airport. They came up a yard short of the airport which was a monumental screw-up but “halve the length”? “budget soared by more than 100 percent”?

    1. They came up short of the airport because SeaTac started building a parcels-handling facility where the train was going to go while Homeland Security said the trains couldn’t actually go to the airport directly. It wasn’t a mistake on the part of the planners or surveyors for ST.

    2. You’re correct, Bernie, I should have said “commodity price increases” instead of “inflation.” However, I also misread; it doesn’t cover the past 7 years, it was a published 7 years ago: Underestimating Costs in Public Works Projects: Error or Lie? [PDF] Principal author: Bent Flyvbjerg; co-authors: Mette K. Skamris Holm and Søren L. Buhl. Journal of the American Planning Association , vol. 68, no. 3, Summer 2002, pp. 279-295. The study does point out that “cost data for several hundred other projects including power plants, dams, water distribution, oil and gas extraction, information technology systems, aerospace systems, and weapons systems… indicate that other types of projects are at least as, if not more, prone to cost underestimation as are transportation infrastructure projects.”

      Bent Flyvbjerg is the Oxford professor. He sounds like an interesting guy. He’s a political scientist so don’t expect too many wonky infrastructure details, but there’s an feature Miller-McCune article from last year: Derailing the Boondoggle: A Danish professor promotes a cure for billion-dollar cost overruns in government megaprojects: Use past boondoggles as a baseline. The strange thing is that my engineer dad says that’s exactly how cost estimates are done–by comparison to similar past projects adjusted for current prices, expected price increases, local labor market, and so on.

      Personally I suspect the problem is more like the home contractor given license to “spend what it takes”–it turns out when money is available it suddenly takes a lot a more of it. Well, and lying politicians. :)

    1. Yes, the northern half was postponed due to the unknown-but-probably-high cost of the Ship Canal tunnel. That’s why some voters are mad they’re getting half the system at twice the cost several years late. Oh, and they were supposed to get more Sounder trains to Everett too.

      In ST’s defense, all these changes were reasonable. The canal cost was obviously an unknown. The ST board and budgeting was reformed to deal with administrative lapses. Track capacity and freight train competition limit the north Sounder trains (and it was an unrealistic idea in the first place, IMO). I can’t say as much about the surface track on MLK, which was a lousy idea and will just have to be elevated later, but it’s better than nothing.

      1. So from what I’ve “dug up” the original SWAG that was presented to voters for Link was $1.7B in 1995 dollars. That would be about $2.4B today. The total cost for what would have been phase 1 and phase 2 (airport to U district) looks like it will come in at around $4.5B. What is often over looked is the Federal contribution has been significantly higher than originally expected. I don’t think the original ballot measure assured any federal funding. If you take that out (very rough count) I come up with an “over guestimate amount of only $790M. If you scale that back to 1995 numbers it would be about $569M or about a 33% “overrun”. The scary part is virtually all of this is because of “unknowns” related to tunneling cost. Since 2001 when some of the “details” (like alignment and engineering) were actually worked out ST has run a pretty tight ship.

        Let’s see, we’re how far along in the design/bid process for the deep bore tunnel viaduct replacement? Anybody that says they can guarantee no cost overruns is either nuts or lying (or both). How is it that our legislature wants to only commit to funding studies and design work on something that’s essentially a re-striping project but will sign off on a couple of Billion on a tunnel idea that wasn’t even considered worthy of consideration when the “final” two options, after years of study and debate, were presented to the voters?

    2. Sound Move was from S 200th St to NE 45th St in the University District. Building to Northgate would have been done if funding could be found.

    3. It’s fascinating what you turn up sometimes on the internet ;-)

      Searching for the Sound Move original proposal I came across a case study from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. I can only access the abstract but I’d love to know the position the paper takes. Inquiring minds want to know.

      I did find it interesting that the Funding Source was the US Department of Transportation.

      And now, back to you’re usually scheduled blogument.

      1. Probably tries not to take a side: “This case is designed for use primarily to stimulate a discussion of the merits and politics of new rail transit systems in US metropolitan areas”. If you click to the actual case under Related Materials you can apparently buy it for $3.45 off the website if you really want to know.

  7. I read that column and the only reason to have done so is to be able to refute it now. Westneat starts with the straw man that we think the budget will be accurate, while we all know the figures will probably creep north- but most of us have the freedom to do nothing but gripe, while officals have to choose numbers, make decisions based on them, and then defend those decisions.

    Why, if we had simply wagged our tails, nodded our heads, and begged for our original ‘New Freeway’ biscuit with no options, the DOT would have saved lots of money by building it right away with no overruns. Sure they would. And building a new freeway across the priciest waterfront realty in town would have done so much for future tax revenues over the next century, dontcha know- because American will always love their cars.

    Of course there have been overruns throughout history, and if you go back to the Egyptians you find archaeological evidence of Pharoahs importing thousand of extra laborers and building extra housing for them to get it done. And Pharoahs and Kings lied to themselves about how long it would take and and how much it would cost. The Roman Empire, the castles, the cathedrals, and most of all, the railroads- all involved lies of stupendous capacity about how much it would cost and how long it would take. Danny Westneat is not exactly in in “man bites dog” territory here.

    No, Westneat is just engaged in the cheapest of yellow dog newspapering. He has a hooker headline- ‘Tunnel’s Cost May Fool Us All’ and then goes on to note that, in fact, a rise in costs should be expected by everyone. As if we didn’t know. He points at a scapegoat- politicians lie to us! He ends with a cute-little boy quizzical expression that may get him out of trouble with his wife- but not with me. The paper would have been weightier that day if they had left his column on the cutting-room floor.

    Do overruns matter? Nobody cares that Gaudi’s cathedral will be a hundred years old and half finished- they want it done right. Millions started looking at Apple and Linux when WindowsXP, no matter how on-time and under-budget it may have been, turned out to be a stinker. MS sells their product by being a monopoly, and don’t forget to check for your daily patch for the product they rolled out “on-time” for the last big electronics show.

    And if, because of recession and deflation, the project actually costs less, will Westneat write a column about why he was wrong? I don’t think so.

  8. “The price tag of the overall project went down not because of “value engineering” but rather because the streetcars and bus improvements were dropped off,”

    The First Avenue streetcar was eliminated? When?

    1. It wasn’t eliminated, it just is not in the price tag that they mention ($2.8 or $4.2 billion, depending). It’s now categorized as separate from the viaduct effort.

  9. Danny Westneat is normally a big transit fan so I am not concerned that he has jumped ship. I just think he has been disappointed many times down the years and like most of us, is probably sick of all of our arguing over transportation matters.

    I like the tunnel, because I like the idea of reclaiming our waterfront back. We deserve a long well-maintained park like expanse. Chicago has one fronting Lake Michigan and Portland has one of sorts alongside the Williamette.

    As for cost overuns, I think we have to look more into the psyhology of these projects and how they have to be marketed to an increasingly doubtful and argumentative audience that demands endless accountability from its politicians. The result is a cat-and-mouse game of fear of failure so you become overly optimistic and a game of out maneouvering one another. Take for example, East Link. No one thinks for a moment that Kemper and his well-healed supporters in Bellevue are going to sit by and watch East Link get built through Bellevue. They are going to want to direct this thing and turn it their way and if they don’t succeed, they’ll try and stop the project regardless of the wishes of the electorate last November. That’s another problem with endless elections – so many to keep track of that inevitably they blurr together and there will come and time when those outside of this Blog will forget that they voted yes for East Link. It is that forgetfulness and the constant electing for things that becomes so exploitable an opportunity for mischief by opponents of anything. They did it with the Seattle Monorail Project and some of them will do it with East Link if they can. Eyman I’m sure will come up with something because elections only matter on the day itself and future elections seem scarcely bound by their predecessors. This is why we have to always be vigilant. Even one of the Issaquah papers has already started to complain about last November’s East Link vote (nothing for Issaquah in it) whilst acting as if the vote never happened anyway – a denial worthy of the Bush administration but one that allows the fight to continue.

    Meanwhile, politicians and high ranking officials are salesmen as much as anything else and the democractic framework they live and work in, partly makes them such. If we didn’t have elections every five seconds, and just let most of them be, sure they would be less accountable, but maybe they would be more focused on the job at hand instead of always having to have one eye on public opinion. At present, politicians are in the business of winning elections, but if we spaced out the elections more and asked them to run for office with well thought ideas and manifestos, we could judge them upfront more and then let them go for it on being voted in. I don’t think they lie to us over these projects or misrepresent them, but realistically whether these guys say there will be or not be cost overuns,they risk being held to the flame or worse. Optimism is what starts these projects whatever mood will ultimately finish them because they know that we won’t like to see a tunnel getting bored under First Avenue. This isn’t misrepresentation or lying, but psychology and unfortunately, in the political game, they don’t have a lot of other options.

    Lastly, as for private business – look at all the construction holes and failed commercial real estate projects in downtown Seattle. Seems like some people overeached in the private sector too – thought they had enough cash in hand or demand and then they didn’t. Look at that gaping hole by Macy’s Garage in Seattle and you’ll see what vaulting ambition gets up to.


  10. As an architect that has worked on quite a few large building projects, both private and public, I have a theory as to what is happening here. Private projects these days typically engage the general contractor early in the design process. The contractor provides feedback to the design team on ways to achieve the same results at a lower cost, based on the methodologies that that particular contractor will use. In return for being brought on early, the contractor agrees to a GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price) for constructing the project.

    Public projects, on the other hand, are forbidden from this approach, due to fears of nepotism and corruption, and all must be open to a public bid. Designing a project without having a contractor on board means designing to a generic construction methodology. As each contractor that bids on the project will have a different “means and method” in approaching the construction, their costs will vary. Also, coming to bid on a massive project while not being at the table during the design phase, means you don’t have as complete an understanding of all the components. Contractors are very averse to risk – once they sign their bid, they’re on the hook to provide everything in the drawings at that price, even those things they might have missed and were unaware of (provided they are properly documented). The higher the risk, the higher the bids go to cover that.

    On the other end of the spectrum are some in the contracting world that take advantage of this situation. There are some contractors who will look through a set of drawings noting vagueries and unknowns in the documents. They will then use this information to lower their bid in order to win a project that may have higher bids in general due to the risk factor. How does this type of contractor expect to make ends meet? By contesting each and every vague or unknown item as a change order to the project, thus raising the price of the project by more than it would have been had the information been known. This contractor already has a good idea of how much additional money they can get for a project due to change orders, before they even start construction. This difference between final price and the bid price is a cost overrun.

    State law used to require public agencies to take the lowest bid (thus encouraging this practice) but in recent years have changed that to “lowest qualified bid.” The qualified portion allows the agency the ability to contest a low bid if they suspect purposeful underbidding may be taking place among other things. This has helped some, but is by no means a guarantee that the winning bidder isn’t practicing some form of “buying the project.”

  11. On page 10 of this PSRC Policy Board presentation you will see an interesting chart showing construction cost trends for WSDOT and across the nation.

    In 2003 you will see an interesting change in the trend. Normal cost estimating assumes that past trends will continue into the future, but you can see that all of those projections would be wrong based on actual cost experience.

    It would be interesting to know what happened in 2003 to cause construction costs to head out of sight. I would guess that at least part of the reason was the overvaluation of assets that has led to the current economic crisis. During that period both the private sector and public were building like crazy using funds borrowed and leveraged against nonexistent assets. Yes, steel and other materials costs were heading skyward, but we also stretched the engineering and construction capacity of this country past its limit, making talent very expensive.

    Since then we’ve tried to reform by adding risk to estimates, as with the CVEP process, but risk has always been part of estimates in the form of contingencies. A new process to add risk can’t compensate for cost escalation that’s changed from past experience and is out of control.

    On the plus side, I think it’s safe to assume that there will be a correction to construction costs, as we’re already seeing with lower than expected bids today. What’s the lesson to this? I think it’s not to believe the bubbles, and not to spend more that you know you can sustain over the long run. I don’t think changing cost estimating processes is the issue at all.

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