My recent discovery of the $500,000 dollars alloted for bridge repair along the East Bay Bike Path (EBBP) from the upcoming stimulus money got me thinking… how does this compare in magnitude to a similar road project?
As many of you may know, there are two adjacent bridges for the roadway that have been under construction for at least 10 years. So I thought it would be fun to try and dig up some numbers for comparison. I’m often floored by the absolute cost of projects undertaken by RIDOT, so I prepared myself for a total shock. After some time spent on the web and a couple of emails, I received a pointer to an article posted on constructionequipmentguide.com. In this article they state that
There is another impressive sight that bike path athletes and weekend warriors have come to see over many years — jutting, angular reddish steel and impressive rectangular concrete box beams — the ongoing $22 million rebuilding of the Barrington River Bridge and its sister project, the Warren River Bridge, a quarter mile to the south on Route 114 in Barrington.
It’s unclear from this wording whether the $22M pricetag is for one bridge or two. Let’s assume for the minute that it’s a pricetag for both, although I highly suspect it’s the price of just one. This is a 40 fold increase over the cost of the repairs being done to the bridges on the bike path. Now, those of you who are astute will say, “wait a minute, they are just replacing the decking on the bike path bridges, this isn’t a fair comparison”. Fair enough, let’s increase the cost of replacing the bike path bridges by a factor or 4, so we are now looking at only a 10 fold increase for the bigger bridges. It’s still staggering!