Longfellow Bridge reopens

The Longfellow Bridge that joins Boston and Cambridge has reopened. The number of car travel lanes has been permanently reduced from 4 to 3 as part of the renovation.

In “Cost to renovate Longfellow Bridge compared to its construction cost” (2013), I wrote that the project would be done in 2016 and cost $260 million, roughly 4X the original cost of $65 million (2013 dollars).

In “Longfellow Bridge repairs will now take about as long as the original construction” (2015) I gave an updated completion time.

The bridge is not quite finished, but it is open, and the cost to repair came in at roughly $300 million, about 4.6X the cost to build. See “Longfellow Bridge Reopens After $300 Million Reconstruction Project” (NECN).

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3 Comments

  1. Joe Shipman

    June 6, 2018 @ 12:50 pm

    1

    The problem with bloated and wasteful government spending is that it rarely rises to the point where the people notice enough of a decline in their standard of living to get angry—the amount of money that can theoretically be captured by corrupt politicians and their venal cronies equals the amount of general growth and productivity increase plus or minus just enough that the public doesn’t notice that they are worse off, or not as much better off than they might be.

  2. G C

    June 6, 2018 @ 5:41 pm

    2

    Just a thought—perhaps the problem here is under-reporting of inflation, since 1906? This would over-estimate the spending power of the dollar for the renovation.
    The New York Times gleefully reports the actual value of inflation in South American countries, compared to the “official” rate, which is always much lower.
    They never consider if we might have the same sort of thing in the US.

  3. Stavros Macrakis

    June 8, 2018 @ 1:24 pm

    3

    Shipman, do you have any concrete evidence of corruption in the Longfellow bridge contracts?

    Or is that just gratuitous and automatic anti-government bashing?

    Insisting on history correct construction techniques may have been a waste, but that isn’t the same thing as corruption.

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