Streetcar pause in December cost nearly $1 million

Apr 1, 2014

Cincinnati officials now say the nearly three week pause in construction on the city's streetcar project cost nearly $1 million.  That includes more than $637,000 for contractors.

“Cost directly associated with the pause itself for MPD and its subcontractors,” said Chris Eilerman, streetcar project manager.  “So it’s largely go to be down time, idle equipment time, those kind of costs basically incurred during the pause itself.”

MPD is a partnership of three companies working on the streetcar project.  They include Messer, Prus, and Delta.

The total pause number also includes funds for a project audit and money Council appropriated when stopping work for some things that needed to be done even though construction was halted.  Not included is the delay cost for the company building the actual streetcar vehicles that also paused work.
The pause also added 20 days to the project completion date.  Streetcar work is expected to be substantially complete on April 4, 2016.  Passenger fare service is still expected to start in September 2016.

Eilerman said the $637,000 is a negotiated amount with the contractors and it is lower than what they first asked for.

“What it represents is a collegial negotiation between the project staff and the MPR staff to try to arrive at a number that we certainly could justify to an auditor, or to the FTA, or to city council at the end of the day,” Eilerman said.  “And also something that reflected a common desire to avoid going to court or some more contentious litigation in the interest of keeping the project moving forward.”

Council Member Kevin Flynn expressed some skepticism about the city’s pause number.

“To me it doesn’t reflect the reality of the true cost of the pause necessarily as opposed to everything that was going on,” Flynn said.  “If we can get those numbers later that would be great.”

Council delayed work in December while it conducted an audit to decide whether to continue the project.  Council eventually voted 6-3 to let the plan go forward.