Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Friday that a report of cost estimates for transportation projects around the state includes both good and bad news.
“This report provides both good news – we are seeing substantial savings on a number of ongoing projects – and disturbing news – the costs of building materials is simply through the roof, and along with inflation that is going to have a major impact on future projects” Rell said in a press release.
Rell requested the Department of Transportation to compile the report after legislators expressed concern about the escalating cost of the New Haven Rail Project which went from $300 million to $1.2 billion.
The second part of the report “is the most troubling,” Rell said in the press release. Several of the up-to-date cost estimates for those projects have increased as a result of accounting for inflation or because the scope of the project has been increased. The total cost of transportation projects in the state jumped almost $2 billion.
For example, the original plan to replace only part of the Moses Wheeler Bridge in Stratford was changed to full replacement. While other projects like the Q Bridge in New Haven “have increased because of special add-ons, such as architectural components and design additions,” she said.
Rell said the City of New Haven requested the add-ons and design components to the Q Bridge project. However, the estimated cost of the Q Bridge project in this report was lowered from the $600 million over two years, to $480 million.
Also the purchase of 300 new rail cars for the MetroNorth line along New Haven and Fairfield counties, originally priced at $667 million, now is expected to cost $173 million less.
Listen to Rell talk about the report.