I feel your pain... 500' of 500 MCM = $5,000 just like that. Was the best price we could find, nobody would guarantee the price for more than a few hours, and had to pay green cash to get that price.
Had to change a set of paralell feeders on a 600A 3-phase service because the POCO wouldn't allow splicing what THEY cut off when there was an explosion in THEIR hole. The copper was fine to splice into, and a meg test was done on all feeders, but the POCO said if the feeders weren't replaced and there was a problem, they would shut the building down and bill the customer if the transfomer blew.
The old cable in the conduit and CT was like new. What a waste.
By the way, the original problem was the insulation on the feeders was corroded from years of laying in salt laden water that never drained from the hole. The CB on the XFMR kept tripping as a result, so what was the POCO's solution? Upgrade the transformer from 150KVA to 225KVA. Made for a really nice explosion next time the fault surfaced!
Worst part is none of the scrap yards want the copper with the insulation. Who wants to sit there stripping it off. Anyone want any used 500 MCM cable cheap in good condition, LOL?