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8636Re: [carfree_cities] Cost per mile of Road, vs Rail

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  • Ryan Lanyon
    Jun 10, 2005
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      Asphalt's cheaper than steel rails, but I'm willing to bet a few

      1. No freeway is ever one lane. It's a minimum of two lanes, one in
      each direction, for a total of $16 million per mile. But most true
      'freeways' are more. Usually in a large city, they're a minimum of six
      lanes. That's $48 million per mile.

      2. Usually these statistics do not include the cost of acquiring the
      land. The cost of the land for a freeway is much greater than for rail,
      which would help balance the costs.

      3. These numbers might be good for construction estimates, but they say
      nothing to capacity and efficiency. With rail, you get a much higher
      capacity from your initial investment. For equivalent capacity in
      asphalt, you need to go to many, many lanes.

      4. Rail (especially high-speed) can likely be more expensive because it
      is less able to adjust to quick or severe changes in grade, requiring
      more levelling, tunnels, etc. than a freeway.

      The number seems about right. Minneapolis built a 12-mile light rail
      line at grade (and in mixed traffic) for about $700USD.

      Does their figure include the cost of stations and platforms?


      >>> cleath@... 06/09/2005 7:54:45 pm >>>
      Can someone help me with these figures? Someone (the
      San Diego County Regional Airport authority) is giving
      the following:

      o Freeways: $8 million per lane/per mile

      o Separate bus lanes: $8.2 million per mile

      o Trolley/light rail: $30 million per mile

      o High-speed transportation systems: $110
      million per mile

      Can the light rail figure really be correct?

      If so, why should it cost so much more to put down
      some steel rails instead of asphalt?

      Colin Leath

      please CC me in any replies! Thanks.

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