Thursday, January 22, 2009

Connector Won't Connect without Federal Funds

The Allegheny County Port Authority will halt work on the North Shore Connector over the next year if they fail to get $117.8 million dollars from the federal government's stimulus package. The Port Authority budgeted $435 dollars for the project in 2005. But PAT spokes person Judi McNeil says they could not have anticipated the skyrocketing cost of concrete and fabricated steel that make up most of the overruns.

So far, PAT has committed approximately $300 million to the project and has finished the tunneling portion of the Connector. McNeil says they are working with the Congressional delegation and Transit Administration to make sure their voice is heard when the federal dollars are made available. She says that every month the project is delayed will add an extra $3 million to the cost overruns. The Connector includes an underwater transit line from downtown to the north shore and three new "T" stations. It was slated to begin service in 2011.

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