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Delay Likely For Downtown Streetcar As Budget Balloons

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The budget for the Downtown streetcar, which would link up the Civic Center to South Park and points in between, may be $200 million short--impressive considering it was only projected to cost $125 million in the first place. It turns out that estimate didn't include any money for utility work, which could run to $166 million, "and other costs could rise by $28 million to $37 million," as the LA Times vaguely explains. And to further complicate things, the city can't apply for federal grants (as they've planned to) until the shortfall is resolved. The estimates for the utility work aren't final so things could still look even worse. Or better! Which is how Jessica Wethington McLean, the executive director for Bringing Back Broadway, chooses to see it. She told the Times that she's "not losing any sleep over these numbers" and that she expects them to drop as engineers make efficiencies like shifting the tracks every so slightly--or dropping the number of streetcar stops. Meanwhile, streetcar superfan City Councilmember Jose Huizar says he'll "aggressively pursue" federal funding, and has also suggested that DWP shoulder some of the utility work cost. However it shakes out, it very likely means the streetcar's 2015 opening will be delayed.
· Broadway streetcar faces $200-million funding gap [LAT]
· Downtown Streetcar Archives [Curbed LA]