Friday, February 27, 2009

North Shore Connector Officially Over Budget

With the awarding of two construction contracts today the price of the north shore connector has gone over its original $435 million budget. The board approved a contract to lay the rail lines the entire length of the project and another for the elevators at the north shore station. The project is now expected to come in nearly $118 million over budget with three contracts yet to be bid. Those contracts are for “station finishes.” PAT CEO Steve Bland says more than $61 million coming from the “formula funds” portion of the federal stimulus package will fill half of the gap. That money is expected to be delivered in the next two months. Bland says he is optimistic PAT will also get some “new starts” money from the stimulus as well. He says there are only a handful of projects in the nation that qualify for that money. Bland says there are other pots of money to be competitively award that he thinks will flow to the connector project. He says if the project were shut down today they would have spent $320 million for nothing and if they had to mothball the project waiting for new funds it would cost $10 million right away and another $3.5 million in cost increases each month.

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