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North Station-South Station connection would cost at least $12.3 billion: Report

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Long-sought Boston infrastructure project seems evermore distant

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Directly connecting North Station and South Station in downtown Boston—one of the largest and longest-sought infrastructure developments in the region—would cost at least $12.3 billion, according to a study that state officials commissioned in July 2017.

That would make it one of the pricier infrastructure projects in the entire country. A plan to better connect New York City and northern New Jersey, including through a new Hudson River rail tunnel, is projected to cost around $30 billion, for instance.

The least expensive option for connecting the two stations would involve an $8.6 billion tunnel wide enough for two tracks, plus $2.4 billion in upgrades and $1.3 billion in other investments, according to the study from Arup USA.

What’s more, the conclusions assume that construction would start in 2024 and not wrap fully until 2032—hence the dollar amounts have been adjusted to reflect their assumed worth in the late 2020s.

The study also concluded that commuter-rail ridership could increase significantly with the so-called North South Rail Link, depending on its scope, to as many as 250,000 commuters daily by 2040, up from 125,000 currently.

Some question such ridership projections and say that the 1.5-mile link would boost it even more—and therefore the billions in cost and the years of construction would be worth it for the region. What do you think?