Skip to main content

Who'd have thought roads would cost so much to build?

A "Eureka!" moment from NC Turnpike Authority director David Gibson as recounted in Bruce Siceloff's column this morning in the N&O:

Joyner blames soaring land costs for the local turnpike gap. The cost of buying right-of-way for the Triangle Expressway, originally planned as a toll-free part of Raleigh's Outer Loop, was pegged at $52 million in 2002 and at $135 million in 2006, he said.

This year, after he saw the rising prices school officials were paying for western Wake real estate, Joyner asked appraisers and surveyors to update his right-of-way budget for the Triangle Expressway.

The new numbers arrived in his Glenwood Avenue office Friday: $233 million, a $98 million increase in the past year, to buy 732 acres not yet purchased by DOT or pledged by RTP's landlord, the Research Triangle Foundation.

The estimate works out to about $225,000 an acre in average land values -- with 40 percent added for likely condemnation settlement, court and other costs.

Joyner did the math on his adding machine and gasped: In all, he would have to budget more than $300,000 an acre. He doubted the results, called his chief financial officer to his desk, punched the numbers again and finally accepted the answer.


The gap in question is the funding that neither chamber of the Legislature has approved to up-front the construction of the tolled part of 540 that I mentioned last week. The House rejected the Senate's budget last night, which means the two chambers will go into negotiations that conceivably could result in funding being allocated, but since it was in neither budget to begin with, those chances are pretty slim.

I have news for Mr. Joyner: you're not building this freeway, or turnpike, or whatever-it-winds-up-as through virgin forests and untouched pristine fields. You're building it through the fastest-growing area of Wake County. Things tend to get a bit expensive under such circumstances. You mean to tell me that no right-of-way acquisition studies were completed until he picked up the newspaper one day and realized that developers (gasp!) were spending Benjamins like candy on Halloween to build in that part of the county? Well no kidding it's gonna be expensive! That comes with the territory, now doesn't it?

Between this, the I-40 Pavement Debacle, the Highway Trust Fund shenanigans, and God knows what other brilliant ideas transportation planners come up with in this state, it's a wonder any roads get built.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yes, the color of your nearby fire hydrant matters...

...and here's why. You will find White, Red, Yellow and Violet colored fire hydrants pretty much everywhere.  But there's a reason for this - and it's because of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  This association has issued guidelines for color coding standards for fire hydrants.  These color codes from the body of the hydrant, top of the hydrant, and in some municipalities the outlet caps are designed to allow fire fighters to know what type of system, water flow rate (Gallons Per Minute or GPM), and level of water pressure.  This guideline is known as NFPA 291 and is intended to be used universally throughout the United States. The NFPA guidelines are specific to the body and the top cap of the hydrant.  If a hydrant is WHITE or YELLOW - it means that it is connected to a public/municipal water system.  If a hydrant is RED - the hydrant is connected to a private system, typically a well.  These are most common in rural or unincorporated areas

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page Ridge Route corridor introdution The Ridge Route as originally envisioned was a segment of highway which was completed in 1915 between the northern Los Angeles city limit

Establishing the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates

The Federal Highway Aid Act of 1956 brought the Interstate Highway System into existence which would largely be constructed by Federal Highway Administration fund matching.  The Interstate Highway System was deliberately numbered to run opposite the established conventions of the US Route System.  While the Interstate Highway numbering conventions are now well established there was a period during the late 1950s where they were still being finalized.  This blog examines the history of the establishing of the chargeable Interstate Highway route numbers in California.  The above blog cover depicts the Interstate Highway route numbers requested by the Division of Highways in the Los Angeles area during November 1957.  The establishment of the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates The Interstate Highway System was not created in a vacuum by way of the passage of the 1956 Federal Highway Aid Act.  The beginning of the Interstate Highway System can be found in the