The recent news of the DTLA streetcar's ballooning budget and delayed opening was overblown, at least according to streetcar proponent Councilman Jose Huizar. His office rebuts the discouraging news, saying the costs of the streetcar are expected to be much lower than reported. The city report that indicated the project would cost $200 million more than originally anticipated, mostly because of unforeseen utility relocation. But Huizar says the original price tag--$125 million--was preliminary and the utility costs in the report are "estimates on the streetcar project bearing the full cost of relocation of 100 percent of all potential conflicts... no engineering solutions have been applied to avoid and eliminate conflicts, and the estimate was generated without the benefit of a deep analysis." Huizar's office said further in-depth number crunching on engineering costs will be done over the next six months and, in the interim, he's seeking public-private partnership opportunities (so we might be riding the Office Depot Streetcar to the Staples Center). Currently, construction costs for the project run between $153 million to $162 million--without the utility business.
· Delay Likely For Downtown Streetcar As Budget Balloons [Curbed LA]