Thanks to Crippling Bureaucracy, Replacing the Baltimore Bridge Will Take 2x Longer and Cost 4x as Much as First Building It

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Could it really take twice as long and four times as much money to replace the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge than it did to build it in the first place?

The Key Bridge was built at a cost (adjusted for inflation) of about $200 million. Replacing it could take a decade and cost $400 million to $800 million dollars, according to experts in what has become a dismal field.

“To actually recreate that whole transportation network” could take a decade or more, structural engineer Ben Schafer told USA Today on Wednesday. Huge projects, Schafer said, now take “rarely less than 10 years.”

Well, they didn’t use to.

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By comparison, the Apollo program that put a man on the moon required seven years, eight months, and 23 days. And — this is the really exciting part — everything about Apollo, from the massive Saturn V rocket to the “tiny” flight computer, had to be created from scratch. Those seven-and-a-half years included a monthslong delay following the tragic loss of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee during an Apollo 1 dress rehearsal that ended in a deadly crew capsule fire.

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