Broadcast Reply                        Glenn A. Walsh

   To Editorial of                                   P.O. Box 1041

KQV President & GM                   Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

    Robert W. Dickey:                      Telephone: 412-561-7876

North Shore Connector          Electronic Mail: < LRTNShore@planetarium.cc >

     Rapid Transit                    Internet Web Site: < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

  Extension Project                            2006 July 5

 

I wish to reply to Bob Dickey's most recent editorial regarding the
"North Shore Connector" rapid transit project.
 
The continual escalation of costs for the North Shore Connector is 
something experienced in most major public works projects. I agree 
that this is something that should have been anticipated, by the Port 
Authority providing a more realistic cost projection at the beginning 
of the project.
 
However, the recent sharp increase in fuel costs, which is driving the 
higher project cost, was unexpected when the project was first 
planned. Like many of us, the Port Authority must deal with the higher 
fuel costs as best it can.
 
And, the Port Authority did responsibly deal with this cost escalation 
when it deferred the proposed segment of the North Shore Connector 
that would have served the David Lawrence Convention Center.
 
The Port Authority could responsibly deal with this 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 PNC Park and Heinz Field, providing 
adequate coverage for both sports venues.
 
Also, the North Side Station would provide reasonable pedestrian 
access to the Community College of Allegheny County, Allegheny Center, 
and The Carnegie Science Center.
 
It is important to expand the light rail system so that, eventually, 
it serves most of the residents of the Pittsburgh region. A link to 
the North Side is an important first step in achieving this goal.
 
To ensure that there are no more cost escalations in the primary 
contract, the Port Authority must accept this contract by July 15.
 
I urge the Port Authority of Allegheny County to accept the primary 
contract by July 15 and defer construction of the Allegheny Station, 
so the core project is built within the funding presently available.
 
gaw