And here we thought the costs of new schools kept going up, up and up. But the $100 million Little Rock and a few other towns in Arkansas spend for new high schools seems a bargain compared to this new bridge-and-corridor.
The latest news: The last estimate for 30 Crossing is a billion dollars. With a B. It's been "in development" for years now, and the new forecast projects it to use up most of the $1.8 billion in the whole Connecting Arkansas Program. That program is funded until at least 2022 with a half-cent statewide sales tax. And a few miles in downtown Little Rock/North Little Rock would eat up way too much of it.
A billion dollars. That's more than the $325 million that 30 Crossing was supposed to cost when the state first started planning for it back in 2013. Talk about inflation. When the government does cost overruns, it does them big. By the time the new bridge and interstate is completed in Little Rock, this could be our own Big Dig.
So now officials are paring down the wish list.
It's about time. The cost for a new bridge can't be much more than a state-of-the-art high school. So most of the money of that billion dollars is all the extras. Including interchanges and rights of way and bells and whistles.
A billion-dollar massive rebuild of Interstate 30 and its bridge (and parts of I-40 and I-630) might be nice, but it has become apparent that the state can't afford it. Not and give the rest of the state its share of the Connecting Arkansas money.
It's time to scale back this project. Not just because of the enormous costs, which get more enormous every month, but in fairness to the rest of the citizens of Arkansas who also need better roads. And are paying for it.
Editorial on 01/13/2019
Print Headline: Way out of hand