Unexpected events delay project and increase costs, RTA spokeswoman says
As construction of the Loyola Avenue streetcar line nears completion, the project is $2 million over budget, according to Regional Transit Authority (RTA) spokeswoman Patrice Mercadel.
Mercadel tells 99.5FM the project's projected cost was $50 million, to be funded with a $45 million federal transportation grant and $5 million in local matching funds provided by the RTA.
But unexpected events, such as digging up an icehouse, a petrified cypress tree and an animal burial ground, delayed the project and increased costs.
Mercadel says a 2010 rail expansion sales tax bond will cover the $2 million cost overrun.
It had been widely reported that the project was about $7 million over budget, but the report took into account only the $45 million federal grant and not the $5 million in local matching funds from the RTA.
The streetcar line is expected to be finished later this month.