Just for some clarification, not that it will matter to this crowd. The cost did not suddenly "skyrocket". In the $182 million are right of way costs (about $50 million), design costs and TxDOT project management fees. If you take all that out, you get the bid values of $50 million for the approaches and the $69.7 million for the levee to levee span. Also, regarding the sand issue above, the columns are drilled down into the bedrock, which is about 40 ft. below ground, so they are not being supported by sand at all. One more thing about steel bridges, they tend to last 2-3 times longer than conventional concrete bridges. The current IH-30 and IH-35E bridges are only 50 years old, and are badly in need of replacement. TxDOT has been spending lots on maintenance just to keep them safe for many years. They are now going to replace them.