Interest payments boost Delta plans cost estimate

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Updated: 12/26/2013 9:53 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — New figures that factor in long-term financing costs have more than doubled the estimated $25 billion price tag of a plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

At the heart of the Delta plan are two underground tunnels that would replace the delta's current pumping system that endangers fish and other wildlife. State officials have pegged the entire project's cost, including the tunnels, at $25 billion.

But the San Jose Mercury News reports that when interest payments on bonds to finance the project are factored in, the estimated cost goes up to between $51 billion and $67 billion.

The figures were presented at a meeting of a Central Valley water district last month. The Mercury News says their accuracy was confirmed by the state Department of Water Resources.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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