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TriMet's new light-rail line millions under budget

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon's (TriMet) Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project is slated to come in $10 million to $40 million under budget, the agency officials announced late last week.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will keep its proportional contribution to the project of 50 percent, which would leave Tri-Met with $5 million to $20 million in savings, they said.

With 95 percent of the new line's construction complete, the $1.49 billion project is also set to open on Sept. 12, 2015, as originally scheduled, TriMet officials said in a statement.

"I'm tremendously proud of our team, our partners and our contractors whose hard work and collaboration resulted in a great project and a terrific outcome," said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.

As a result of the savings, TriMet will add back certain elements of the projects that were eliminated during the final negotiation in 2011 of the full funding grant agreement with the FTA. These include additional heated switches and ice cap installed on the overhead power wire, as well as shelters along the line.

These add-on elements would cost about $3.6 million, according to TriMet.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/30/2015