$553 Million and Counting for PAT’s Big Dig

We knew it was coming. The folks at the Port Authority (PAT) have now admitted what everyone has known for some time: $435 million will not be enough to complete Allegheny County’s biggest boondoggle so far in the 21st century. We are being told the infamous North Shore Connector project will need another $117.8 million to cover the cost overruns PAT now reckons will occur. Of course, the cost overruns are blamed on unexpected construction cost increases no one could have foreseen back in September 2006 when the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) gave final approval to the $435 million project. The FTA committed $270 million in new funding while another $80 million or so in Federal funds are being diverted from other Southwest Pennsylvania transportation projects. State and County funds make up the remainder. Continue