Monday, July 19, 2010

Pay Now & Pay Later (for what you already bought)

New 520 Bridge: More Spent on Planning Than on Building Original Bridge

I haven't actually fact checked this blog post but the inflation numbers pencil out about right. My understanding is that the original 520 bridge was financed predominately by $60 million in bonds that were paid off ahead of schedule entirely by tolls on the bridge. By inflation adjusted numbers the current package includes roughly the same amount of toll revenue; but the bridge is ten times more expensive. Or, in other words, for tolls to cover the cost as they did with the original they would need to be closer to $30 each way than the proposed $3. That would put the cost up in the neighborhood of what we pay for a cross sound ferry. Too bad there wasn't a real bridge built back in 1963. We'd be good to go for another 50 years and tolling now would have time to build up a nice little nest egg for a replacement.