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Old 04-17-2013, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Beavercreek, OH
2,194 posts, read 3,154,003 times
Reputation: 2341

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Streetcar Has $17.4 Million Shortfall, Costs Exceed Estimates (Again)
Quote:
The funding problems facing the project were outlined in a memo given to City Council offices late Tuesday afternoon, after most of them had left for the day. Written by City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr., the memo states the project had a $22.7 million funding shortfall due to construction bids being higher than expected.

“After the re-engineering of the scope and budget saving $5.3 million, it is clear the project will need more funding,” Dohoney wrote.

Under the city’s original schedule, construction should have begun April 8. But that date quietly passed without any contractor selected to do the work. That’s because bids submitted in February to install tracks, build shelters and buy ticket machines for the system were $26 million to $44 million higher than estimated by the city.



Just... no comment at this point. I'm not even going to invoke the name of "Qualls", "Mallory", "COAST", or "Smitherman".

 
Old 04-17-2013, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,386 posts, read 59,858,320 times
Reputation: 54029
Gee. What a surprise.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 08:47 AM
 
1,560 posts, read 1,550,989 times
Reputation: 1637
This is the first of what will be many of these "surprises." Many financially competent and grounded people have known this would happen since day 1. They'll cram this latest request for more money thru the process....under the guise of "we've already spent so much money on it there's no turning back now", and if "we don't spend more money on it we'll lose our federal government funding".

We are Greece....we just don't know it yet.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 10:24 AM
 
1,295 posts, read 1,576,405 times
Reputation: 687
If so many stall tactics weren't employed, bargain recession prices could have been used. Stall, stall, inflation, stall, more inflation...and here we are.

Fortunately the ROI is still far greater than inflated expenses.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,982,960 times
Reputation: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by hensleya1 View Post
Just... no comment at this point. I'm not even going to invoke the name of "Qualls", "Mallory", "COAST", or "Smitherman".
Lol - I knew you would be gloating all over this one. Stall tactics employed by COAST and then blame the city for not going fast enough and being on budget.

They should have hired a project manager from day one.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,865,795 times
Reputation: 1925
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomJones123 View Post
They should have hired a project manager from day one.
That is definitely a truism. No mattter what side you are on, to have it come this far and then stall again is depressing. Even those who have waged an anti-campaign all the way should be wondering about a stoppage at this point. Even the I Told You So rings hollow with what the City stands to lose at this point by just stopping.

The memo from the City Manager also rings a little hollow. He states the project had a $22.7 million shortfall which through re-engineering of scope and budget they saved $5.3 million still leaving a shortfall of $17.4 million. Nowhere did I see any definition of the change in scope and budget they were willing to give up to save the $5.3 million. It is this kind of ambiguity which I believe frustrates the people in general.

I feel it is unlikely they will get any of the $17.4 million from the feds or the state. So that leaves it at the City's doorstep. Others have commented about the fact there are always cost overruns on a project of this type, so this is not the end. That is another truism.

But other comments that stalling and delaying tactics kept it from being built at recession prices also ring hollow in my mind. Name me one sizable public works project built in the last 5 years which came in under its estimated cost. It just doesn't happen.

Tom, you hit it right, they needed a professional project manager from DAY ONE. Such a professional should have been in charge of the entire process of design and estimation of the cost. Where do you get such an individual, you hire someone who had a position of responsibility for building a streetcar in another city. We keep hearing about how many other cities are building streetcars, so you look at who has been most sucessful and hire their head man. Yes you will pay him well, but that is cheap compared to the situation you find yourself in now.

My last current comment on this subject is who wants to start a poll as to whether the Uptown Loop of the streetcar will see the light of day, be operational, prior to 2020? We have been assured the Downtown Loop will be completed prior to the 2015 Baseball MLB ASG. How many still feel confident in this?
 
Old 04-17-2013, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,982,960 times
Reputation: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
No mattter what side you are on, to have it come this far and then stall again is depressing....
Great post, I tried to rep but need to spread it around some more.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 02:57 PM
 
1,295 posts, read 1,576,405 times
Reputation: 687
Quote:
But other comments that stalling and delaying tactics kept it from being built at recession prices also ring hollow in my mind. Name me one sizable public works project built in the last 5 years which came in under its estimated cost. It just doesn't happen.
Who said under budget? Are you denying it would have been significantly cheaper had an insane amount of stall tactics not been employed?

I believe the Reds stadium was on-time and under-budget. Wasn't in the past 5 years, but it is closer to home than a project I might find fitting your description. It's worth noting the same budget-creep happens in the private sector. Just ask any architect or contractor.

We will see the same thing happen on the Brent Spence complement (it's not a replacement), assuming that gets built. By the time all parties involved finally agree a toll is necessary and construction starts, the toll-opponents will have caused the budget to soar much higher than it would have otherwise. And it likely would come in higher than estimates, regardless, as your post would imply.

Quote:
We have been assured the Downtown Loop will be completed prior to the 2015 Baseball MLB ASG.
You are mistaken on this. Everyone said it's unlikely to happen, but would be a nice goal to reach.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
577 posts, read 1,041,925 times
Reputation: 250
This is where that state funding would have come in handy. Originally TRAC approved the funding but in 2011, the panel voted against funding the project. It could have been up to $51 million.

But, the blame isn't entirely there. They should have hired a project manager from day 1. I mean, why order the cars before finalizing the construction contract? Talk about putting the cart in front of the horse.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Beavercreek, OH
2,194 posts, read 3,154,003 times
Reputation: 2341
Quote:
Originally Posted by deg1114 View Post
I mean, why order the cars before finalizing the construction contract? Talk about putting the cart in front of the horse.
Hi deg1114--

I think the comments section in that article encapsulated it best:

Since the streetcars are apparently already signed for and will be delivered, I have an idea: when the project fails due to Cincinnati going broke, they can collect them all together, park them in a lot in Queensgate somewhere on Eighth Street and convert them into a restaurant. Call it "Mallory's Station."


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