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Old 02-12-06, 10:27 PM   #1
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A plan 15 years in the making to build a 2.7-mile bicycle and pedestrian corridor linking Durham and Chapel Hill still needs half of the $3.8 million it will take to make the project happen.

I must be missing something here. $3.8 million to stripe 2.7 (or 5.4) miles of bike lane? A $62,000 feasibility study? There's obviously more here than the story relates.
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Old 02-13-06, 12:02 AM   #2
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I think the key words were "land acquisition". Can't just take it, gotta pay the owners.
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Old 02-13-06, 12:05 AM   #3
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The usual number thrown around these days is $1m/mile of MUP.
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Old 02-13-06, 02:18 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 02-14-06, 10:06 AM   #5
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2.7 miles and a 20 foot right of way means 6.5 acres. Residential land around here runs $100,000/acre. Prime commercial land can be over 10 times that. And if they do not want to sell . . . $3.8 million sounds downright reasonable. I have worked for engineering consultants. $65,000 for a study of a 2.7 mile project seems a steal. Running the trail along existing rights-of-way and adding pathwidth to existing roads with maybe a curb separation might keep costs down. See if you can connect any local schools along the route.
Giving kids a safe way to school is a selling point.
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