Statement before Glenn A. Walsh
Port Authority of
Rapid Transit Electronic Mail: < email@example.com >
Extension Project Internet Web Site: < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >
2006 July 13
Good morning. I am Glenn A.
The continual escalation of costs of the North Shore Connector project is something experienced in most major public works projects and should come as no surprise to anyone. What is a surprise is that these cost escalations were not anticipated. However, this may be somewhat understandable considering that most people did not expect the great rise in fuel costs over the last year, which is driving the higher project cost of the North Shore Connector.
Port Authority responsibly acted, with the first cost hike, by deferring construction of the Convention Center link of the project. Port Authority could responsibly deal with the second cost escalation in the same way, by deferring construction of the “Allegheny Station,” one of the two transit stations planned for the North Side.
The other station, the “North
Side Station,” would be located about half-way between
The overriding question here
It is just plain wrong to
think of the North Shore Connector as one isolated project. Originally, it was
part of the “Spine Line” project, which would have built rapid transit from the
North Side through Downtown to
Rapid transit projects are very expensive. Hence, they can only be built in stages. Due to the high cost of rapid transit construction, these staged projects will take time to come to fruition—possibly decades. To prevent regional rapid transit expansion from being sidetracked, as it was in the 1970s, Port Authority must responsibly deal with the inevitable cost escalations.
Today, that means approving the primary North Shore Connector contract so this contract has no more cost escalations. This also means deferring the Allegheny Station, so additional taxpayer’s money will not be needed to finish the core project: Downtown to the North Side.