There are 3 up pipes on the truck. 2 of them run from the exhaust manifolds to the turbos, the other one branches off one of those and feeds the EGR. This is the one that people remove.
Which up pipe is cracked? If it's the one that feeds the EGR, once there's no EGR there's not much of a need for that pipe. The only thing on it (other than the EGR, obviously) is the EBP sensor and tube. That can be relocated relatively easily to the other up pile.
If it's one of the two main up pipes, you can't do without those, and they'll need to be replaced. If it's one of those you should probably put some better ones on, as they're prone to failure. This might be a job to hand off to someone like your guy, since it involves either lifting the cab or dropping the transmission.
You can do the EGR and up pipe removal yourself if you have the tools and time, and can follow directions. Then you could take part of that $1500 and buy a full exhaust instead of just a delete pipe. I did my EGR in about 6 hours, the up pipe at a separate time in about 5 hours, and turbo-back exhaust in about 2 hours.
It's a little ironic that your mechanic is willing to remove your EGR but not your DPF, citing EPA regulations, since they're both emissions components. But it's his shop, not mine.