Comparing Costs of Transportation Projects

6 May

Can we afford to create a multimodal transportation system in Omaha? Can we afford not to? The current  system, that emphasizes moving cars is very expensive in terms of costs and safety. A multimodal system that supports streets made for everyone to use, no matter what mode, can attract and retain people of all ages to our city and save a lot in road widening and maintenance, environmental , and health costs.

This chart gives an indication of the financial costs of the current car-centric system, which emphasizes road widening, compared to the costs of investments in projects that improve safety and accessibility for other modes. The costs are either actual (highway and 96 street widening) or estimated (initial cost for the bike loop, one-time capital and annual operating costs for BRT, one-time cost for putting in the protected bike lane, and cost for putting in paved trail).

Costs of transportation projects in the Omaha-area

Per mile costs of transportation projects in the Omaha-area


3 Responses to “Comparing Costs of Transportation Projects”

  1. Terry May 6, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    I need clarification. Is this table that I created to try to understand the data correct?

    Project Build Cost Annual cost
    Bike Loop $30,000 (estimated)
    BRT $5,000,000 (estimated) $375,000 (est.)
    PBL $375,000 (estimated)
    Trail $500,000 (estimated)
    I-80 widening $9,527,094 (actual)
    96th St widening $4,500,000 (actual)

    If so, is there some reason we don’t even have estimates for the annual costs in the other projects? And in general, do those annual cost estimates include things like liability insurance for the City that are specifically for the bike loop, protected bike lane, and trail? If the cost categories don’t match up among the different projects, that might weaken one’s case for the project – in the eyes of anyone against the multi-use idea.

    Just trying to understand all this…I hope the table formatting holds when I post this.

    Terry Hickman

    • Terry May 6, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      Well, I see that the formatting did not hold up. Sorry about that.

    • modeshiftomaha May 6, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

      Yes, that looks correct. The costs are per mile and none include maintenance (as far as we know) except the projected BRT annual costs. See links to the data sources for each project. It is difficult to get better data on maintenance, etc. for specific projects.

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