Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Durham, NC
Bikes: Trek 720 hybrid; 2007 Specialized Tricross Comp
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The feasibility study seems to have been padded a bit, but that's what consultants do. The majority of costs are for time spent working on things like mapping, data collection, community meetings, design and engineering drawings, preparing and revising the report, etc.
The price tag for the construction is likely padded a bit too. ollo is right that land acquisition is expensive. This is an area that has been developed a lot over the past 10 years or so. I think it also gets into some road re-allignment, I know utilties must be relocated, then you have environmental impact studies, planning and design and all that good stuff. The article is misleading in that it isn't just striping the existing road. It is an expansion. The costs for construction will likely constitute the majority of the budget. Materials prices have gone up recently and construction isn't cheap anyway.
It's still a heck of a lot of money. It's gained renewed interest after a cyclist was killed by the Boston College men's basketball team's bus as they were coming to play in Chapel Hill. There really aren't good bike routes between Durham and Chapel Hill.