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Monday, November 17, 2008

Unneeded LRT Improvements

Re: "Norfolk Light Rail" Virginian-Pilot, November 17, 2008

So, apparently, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation wants Norfolk to add $7 million worth of upgrades to the Light Rail System. If they are truly needed then Norfolk should go for it. Norfolk is contractually obligated to pay for any cost overruns. I do not think that this should be a "cost overrun" due to the fact that it is something new being added into an existing project. If the DRPT wanted these upgrades, it should have spoke up in the beginning and should not have allowed the items to be cut out. Now, if they want these upgrades back in the plan, Norfolk and HRT need to tell them to either cut a check or GTFO (look it up). They had every opportunity to make a stand early on. They say that they want these upgrades to make the project more appealing to Virginia Beach, but if they require Norfolk to foot the bill, they will do exactly the opposite. The project is already over budget and behind schedule, most of which is due to NSU waiting until the last minute to object to their station, even though they will eventually see that they will benefit from it rather than be harmed by it. Virginia Beach is concerned about cost. For the state to force the project further over budget, they will only make it more difficult to pass the idea in Virginia Beach. The Beach needs to understand (but doesn't) that their cost will be more accurate due to the kinks that are worked out for Norfolk's initial line. They also should realize that if they had been on board from the beginning, it would have save them millions.

1 comment:

Hampton Roads Partnership said...

Hi, Russell-
I assume you're following the comments re: this article as well (http://hamptonroads.com/2008/11/va-wants-7-million-worth-safety-addons-light-rail?page=1).

Fascinating discourse, isn't it?

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