Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Budget Boy: A BayLink monorail could be had for $20 million-a-mile (Give or take a million)

According to Miami-Dade County's Budget Boy, estimated costs for building a monorail link between Miami and Miami Beach is $20 million-per-mile. Now some might question this figure considering Budget Boy works for a government famous for cost overruns ranging from the half billion dollar Carnival Center for the Performing Arts to MIA, but at least his estimation won't cost taxpayers a multi-million dollar consultancy fee since it's free-- try to get your money back from a consultant who under estimated costs-- which they invariably do-- and this begins to look like a pretty good deal. According to Budget Boy, his numbers are the result of factoring in:
  • The fact that 95% of the BayLink monorail is built on utility-free space. Relocation of buried sewer, water, gas, and electric lines are not a factor-- where most traditional construction costs are accrued. The MVB BayLink plan calls for attaching the monorail to the bridge from Miami to Watson Island and then running it at grade (no need for elevated concrete runways) along MacArthur Causeway to the Beach. The run becomes elevated at Terminal Island. When it meets the beach, it makes a hard left and runs north and south on the sand all the way to 17th or 19th Street with its northern terminus at the Convention Center with stops at "5th West," "5th East/Beach." "Lincoln Road/Beach," and, of course, the Convention Center and the Live Nation Theatre.
  • The Miami run will be the most expensive since it will be built on land with existing utilities-- but it affords connections to Carnival Center, the Miami Megaplex ("The Grand Central Station of the American Pastime" with MetroRail and FEC commuter rail connections), American Airlines Arena, and the Museum Park MetroMover station.

With these kind of figures, the $200 million the City of Miami wants to throw at an antiquated trolley line could pay for ten miles of track!


Dayngr said...

Do we, as citizens, ave a say in this???

Verticus S. Erectus said...

As long as you live in this great country you do. Numbers talk! However, since this is Miami-Dade county, keep in mind numbers say more if they follow a dollar sign.

Dave said...

$20 Million a mile is actually not that expensive. 10 miles from downtown would just about cover it. A $200MM bond issue done at 30 years and 4% coupon, the going rate, would only represent $8 Million a year, far less than the sum of annual costs of traffic control and highway maintenance the traffic requires, not to mention the congestion improvement!

Verticus S. Erectus said...

Whoe, Dave, thanks for running the numbers! That's a place we tremble and quake with fear when we just think about going there. Never been good at that stuff.