After a dozen years of study and tens of millions of dollars worth of design work, experts are pretty sure the proposed busway from Hartford’s Union Station to downtown New Britain is going to cost about $573 million.
At the beginning, officials guessed it might cost just $80 million, a figure they tossed around as recently as 2001, but as they began working on the details, the cost rose steadily to today’s figure.
How much the final tab may be is, of course, uncertain. It depends on a number of variables, from the inflation rate to the bids that contractors actually submit when the state seeks companies to do the work.
At least Connecticut taxpayers can take comfort that the federal government is picking up at least 80 percent of the tab.
Even so, Michael Sanders, the transit administrator for the state Department of Transportation, said state officials are concerned about the escalating cost.
But, he said, by the time the engineers tallied the cost of relocating rails, rebuilding bridges, putting in an overpass and more, the construction tab reached $272 million. And that’s only a fraction of the overall expense.
It may turn out to cost more than expected or it could turn out to be cheaper, though government projects tend to wind up more costly than anticipated rather than less.
Click here to see a graph of how the projected busway costs have soared since 2001.
Read Wednesday's Press for much more.
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