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Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

12/27/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Pittsburgh port authority to begin construction on North Shore alignment, defer convention center spur


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The Port Authority of Allegheny County recently announced plans to proceed with construction of the North Shore Connector project, but defer an extension to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The connector project would extend “T” light-rail service 1.2 miles under the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh’s North Shore, linking the Community College of Allegheny County, the new Del Monte and Equitable Resources headquarters, PNC Park, Heinz Field, Marriott Springhill Suites and Carnegie Science Center.

The 0.3-mile extension from the existing Steel Plaza Station to a new convention center station had been deferred because of rising steel, cement and construction costs. The authority also put off plans to purchase four light-rail vehicles, enabling the agency to reduce the project cost by $80 million and stay within a $393 million budget.

“We cannot afford to lose the opportunity to utilize scarce federal and state capital funds for a project of this magnitude and the opportunity it presents for future extensions of the T,” said Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Dennis Veraldi in a prepared statement.

The authority plans to construct the convention center link as part of a future phase. Other future extensions include providing service to Pittsburgh International Airport and Oakland.

The port authority has prepared a new environmental report that assesses the impact of the convention center line deferral. The report is available for public comment through Jan. 18.

On Jan. 25, the authority plans to open bids for the construction of twin tunnels under the Allegheny River and a 1,200-foot alignment on the North Shore.


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