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Yep. And it's a hard, hard problem. Buying land or right-of-way in high-value, dense urban environments is considerably more expensive then buying it in unused wilderness. And dealing with each municipality's politics along the way is far more difficult and expensive than dealing with unincorporated, unpopulated land.

I live in Minneapolis, and remember when the 35W bridge fell. Republicans tried to prevent adding lanes for future light rail to the new bridge (particularly then-governor Coleman, who was eyeing a presidential run), and our mayor basically held the bridge hostage - he told the state and federal governments that if there weren't provisions for future light rail, that the city wouldn't be issuing the necessary construction permits for the new bridge. (A call I fully supported, btw.)

This is why it's more expensive than the 1870s.




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