July 12th, 2013 By German Lopez | News | Posted In: News, Streetcar, Budget

Streetcar Gets Good News with New Construction Bid

Messer Construction asks for less than $500,000 more; easily covered by contingency fund

Messer Construction says it needs nearly $500,000 more than the original $71 million it asked for to do construction work for the streetcar project, but the extra money is easily covered by the project’s $10 million contingency fund that the city established in case of further cost overruns.

In June, City Council approved an extra $17.4 million and accountability measures for the streetcar project, which require the city manager to publicly update council with a timeline of key milestones, performance measures, an operating plan, staffing assessments and monthly progress reports.

During discussions for the funding and accountability proposals, some council members, particularly Councilman P.G.

Sittenfeld, raised concerns that Messer would require more money than the city could afford. Sittenfeld said he was especially concerned Messer would have all the leverage going forward, considering the city supposedly needed the lower construction bid to keep the project within its new budget.

Messer was the lowest bidder for the project’s construction work, but even that bid came $26 million higher than the city’s original estimates, forcing the city to close a budget gap if the project was to continue.

With the construction bids taken care of, the only known funding concern for the streetcar is who has to pay $15 million for moving utility lines to accommodate for streetcar tracks. Duke Energy argues the cost burden is on the city, while the city says the energy company has to pay up. The issue is currently being decided in court.

Ever since Cincinnati began pursuing the streetcar project, it’s been mired in misrepresentations and political controversy, which CityBeat covered in further detail in this week’s cover story.

07.12.2013 at 09:06 Reply

your headline reads like a propaganda piece. be objective german. easily? when was the last time you obtained records and assessed the citys budget? be objective. i wont bother to explain the citys budget restraints to you. go be an objective investigative reporter. not a mouth piece. no monies are easy during this recession. 500 thou is easy? lol. rookie. i know the approximate you make at citybeat. if youre independent of a trust fund or handouts from mom and dad, you can barely make rent utilities and beer money. and youre calling 500 thou easy. lol. are you an urban pioneer too? yawn.


07.13.2013 at 03:38

Objectively speaking, $10 million easily covers $500,000.


07.13.2013 at 03:26 Reply

not if youre managing money on a construction project that is already waaay over budget and waay underestimated as to actual costs. you must factor in that other budgets within the project will be over budget and that other estimates are low. and 500 thou just for a few months delays are just the start. construction hasnt even started yet - that's when a budget can really balloon - and usually does - when the actual work starts. and that 500 thou becomes a huge deal. aint nothing easy breezy about 500 thou on a commercial project.