Wednesday, March 17, 2010

PAT Connector's Cost Estimate Drops $10 Million

The Port Authority of Allegheny County today reduced the cost estimate of the North Shore Connector project by $10 million, to a total of $528.8 million.

Spokesman Jim Ritchie says the money wasn’t saved in one area alone -- the authority worked with its contractor to reduce the cost “piece by piece.”

Ritchie says this isn’t the first time the estimate has dropped. Since last May, the project has seen a total reduction of $24 million.

The forthcoming subway route would connect a newly built Downtown station with two new depots near Heinz Field and PNC Park.

Ritchie says crews have finished the tunneling work.

“So there’s two tunnels now underneath the Allegheny River between Downtown and the North Shore, and inside those tunnels we’re actually starting the process of installing the tracks that will run through the tunnels,” says Ritchie. “We’re also in the process of building the new stations.”

The connector is a capital project, so the lower estimate will have no effect on the authority’s operating budget.

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