The Providence Journal reported Saturday that
Burying a rebuilt Route 6 and 10 interchange beneath an earthen cap will likely cost $100 million more than initial estimates, state transportation officials said in a request for federal grant funding this week. The project is expected to cost $595 million, not counting a potential bus rapid transit line with stations, according to a grant application filed Thursday.
How many other cost revisions – not to mention cost overruns – will occur with this project? Rather than simply repairing what is already there, RIDOT is proposing an unnecessarily over-engineered project that gets mighty close to the description of boondoggle.
Note, by the way, that we’re not supposed to call the underground part of this project (what they would build in place of overpasses) “tunnels”. Apparently, they figured out that’s a scary word evoking Boston’s Big Dig project. No, they’re calling it a “capped highway”. “Capped”. It’s just a cap! Nothing scary about that!
The issue I raised previously still stands. Even stipulating the difficult-to-believe idea that the construction cost of a tunnel or capped highway is the same as that of an overpass, what is the comparative maintenance cost of these structures?