Port Authority rail project cost drops $14M

Posted on May 22, 2009

Pittsburgh-based Port Authority of Allegheny County has cut the total cost of its North Shore Connector project by $14 million. The cost of the light rail extension will decrease from $552.8 million to $538.8 million due to a favorable round of construction bids and management efforts to contain contract expenses.

The inflationary forces that drove construction materials costs upward at the beginning of the project are retreating, which is one reason the Connector’s overall cost is decreasing.

“The factors that hurt this project financially the most were out of our control,” said CEO Steve Bland. “Once the contracts were in our hands, however, we’ve been able to contain costs through aggressive oversight and management efforts.” 

The construction contracts currently underway are proceeding on schedule and within budget. On Friday, the agency approved contracts to complete work in the new T stations. The Authority continues to seek funds to complete the project, which is scheduled to finish in 2011.

The new light rail line will extend the T from Downtown into a developing area of the North Shore and provide a launching point for possible future expansion.

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