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This sucker should be torn down. (photo by Scott Womack)

TxDOT Now Says It Could Cost $242 Million To Repair I-345

TxDOT has long been using $100 million as the cost of repairing I-345, all while consistently nudging the amount it would take to tear it down further north, to where it is now — around $1.9 billion. How long have they been using $100 million? Since 2005. According to spokesperson Michelle Raglon, that number comes from a study that only analyzed “a handful of segments of 345.” Why is that a big deal? There are 165 segments. That is a lot more than a handful, and those are eight-year-old cost estimates.

In other words: it’s not just hogwash. It’s practically ancient hogwash.

A new, more comprehensive study now suggests it could cost as much as $242 million. That number is couched as “a plan for the worst-case scenario.” I would couch it, instead, as “conservative,” since I would not trust they have an actual dollar amount locked down just yet. Maybe ballparked.

Say it is $242 million. That brings the cost to repair 345 much more in line with the cost to tear it down (forget that $1.9 billion — that is essentially drawn out of a hat). And the difference would be made up very quickly when you factor in new investment that would come from tearing 345 down. But, anyway, I’ve probably said enough. What do you think Councilman Philip Kingston?

“Here’s what’s going on: We know they make up the numbers. So, they decided to run with this $100-million figure because it sounded good? I don’t know.”

Anything else?

“This is an example of TxDOT having contempt for the people it’s supposed to represent. Absolute contempt. This project was the subject of a yearlong public input process where the public, along with local governments, is supposed to be able to give TxDOT feedback about what we need locally and what makes sense for our transportation needs. One of the central elements has got to be how much does this solution cost. If we don’t have a credible figure on that, the whole process is a sham.”

  • OxBowIncident

    Tear it down and make a boulevard.

  • AeroRazavi

    I just like how the original number was a simple $100 million, and now the new number is an awkward $242 million. Why not $245M or $250M or $240M?

  • Zac Crain

    The key to a lie (or just something you’ve made up) is always specificity. In fact, it is better if you slightly correct yourself. “The worst-case scenario would be $243 million. Oh, wait, I’m sorry — $242 million. It’s $242 million. Sorry.”

  • WalkableDFW

    Let’s not forget that public process was completely thrown out the window. What happened to the supposed 9 options? Also, we know for a fact their tear down number of 1.9 billion is actually the tunnel cost.

  • Jenny

    That’s perfect, Zac. Or, for example, “D Magazine HQ Also Was Tagged,” http://bit.ly/1xpeI3o, Oh, but wait, you meant a street NEAR your HQ was tagged. You’re right: lies – or should you say plausible deniability – always works when you employ a slight correction.

  • Zac Crain

    Like I said before, Jenny, it was the sidewalk of our building, the building with the giant D at the top, not the street, and I don’t know why you’re a dog with a bone on this. Would it make any difference if it had been the wall of our building instead of the sidewalk? Yes, a little bit. And, OK, sure, I will accept the possibility that the tagger got bad service or something at Pearl Cup, but whatever.

    TL;DR Get over it.