A new bridge spanning the bay or a second transbay tube would be multibillion-dollar propositions the Bay Area could not likely afford, according to cost estimates released today. Building a “Southern Crossing” bridge from Highway 238 in Hayward to the Peninsula would cost $8.2 billion while constructing a new BART tube between San Francisco and Oakland would cost $10.3 billion, according to the study. Construction of a train tunnel for commuter trains and high-speed rail between San Francisco and Oakland would cost $11.8 billion. “At first blush, it seems like a lot, and people are going to do a double- take,” said Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which ordered the study. “But if you take that second look, you realize that these are major improvements, and they’re going to carry a big price tag.” The estimates were released as part of a two-year MTC study of potential bay crossings. The study was commissioned at the request of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who said she was concerned about increased congestion on the Bay Bridge. Commuters have dreamed of a Southern Crossing for four decades, but transportation officials have studied and rejected the idea as too costly at least… Read full this story
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