Expert Review Finds No Significant Cost Difference Between Routes
Brightline claims their proposed route along State Road 417 is cheaper than the preferred 528 route which includes the Convention Center. But that’s just not so. A newly completed, detailed review by three national engineering firms has found no substantial costs between the two routes.
Brightline has said the 528 route would cost one billion dollars more than their plan. But during their review of Brightline’s 417 route, the experts analyzed updated and more detailed design plans to show that the cost would be hundreds of millions of dollars more than original estimates. They also found the real number for the 528 route to be hundreds of millions of dollars less than Brightline’s estimate.
The experts found that Brightline’s estimates for its own route do not include funding to lease or acquire right of way, underestimate the number and complexity of costly bridges and embankments, and do not include the funding necessary to compensate homeowners who will be negatively impacted by their route—the latter of which could be hundreds of millions of dollars alone. They also standardized operational criteria for each route, making sure design speeds were the same.
All of this leads us to ask some questions: What if the route that is best for our community will actually cost about the same as Brightline’s proposal? Shouldn’t we just do what’s right for our community?