Construction costs for Twin Cities rail lines. It seems like I look this stuff up every couple months so I thought I’d write it down to save my future self the trouble. For distances I used km to make myself look more professional; to get the miles still used in jolly old USA just divide by 1.6, um, or multiply by 1.6, I forget which.
All dollars are current unless noted parenthetically.
Capital cost: $715.3m (2004)
Length: 19.3 km
Target Field Hiawatha Extension – $100m/km
Capital cost: $52m (2009 – This project was part of the Northstar’s $317m budget – Transport Politic lists the cost of just the commuter rail line as $265m, which I’ve verified but I can’t remember where.)
Length: .55 km (This is my measurement. In addition, this project built a .45 km tail track that may be used for the Southwest line, depending on how it’s built. I don’t think it’s fair to include the tail track in the cost per km because tailings were not included in the other lines.)
Hiawatha LRT Tunnel – $62m/km
Capital cost: $120m (2004)
Length: 2.2 km
Central – $53.2m/km (edit: don’t trust this number)
Mulad pointed out in the comments that the entire corridor is 18 km – not sure how long just the new track is. Let me know if you know, please!
Capital cost: $957m
Length: 18 km
Stations: 18 new
Southwest – $46m/km
(current dollars calculated using a 3.5% annual inflation rate following LPA Tech Memo #7A)
Capital cost: $1.25b (2015) ($1111040615 in 2011 dollars)
Length: 24.1 km
Fun with numbers
Central subway – $60m/km
An all-subway Central LRT, assuming the tunneling costs from Hiawatha. Of course, the 2.2 km Hiawatha tunnel has only one station, so if Central could have only 9 stations, where would you put them?
Capital cost: $1.1b
Southwest with Uptown subway -$57.6m/km
To calculate the cost of a Southwest LRT line that proceeds from the West Lake station east on the Greenway at grade, then up Hennepin below grade, emerging again at the Cedar Lake Trail near Glenwood and going up Royalston, basically I just add the cost of the tunnel under Hennepin, assuming the same tunneling costs as Hiawatha, to the total cost of Southwest. Pretty rough, I know.
Capital cost: $1.32b
Length: 22.9 km
Stations: 16 (This would assume an at-grade station at Uptown, then a below-grade station at Franklin. There should probably be at least one more station in a subway below Hennepin, which would of course add to the per km cost.)
For comparison’s sake
I-394 – $45m/km
Capital cost: $450m (1993)
Length: 15.7 km
Crosstown Commons – $36.5m/km
Capital cost: $288m (2010)
Length: 7.9 km
For more incomparable comparisons, check Alon Levy’s list.