Changes in the works? Officials to provide update on Project Connect, rising costs

Written by RT&S Staff
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Rising real estate costs and inflation have caused the cost of Austin’s Project Connect to almost double.

Austin’s Project Connect might be in for some revisions, which could be a project in and of itself.

Officials are expected to provide an update on Aug. 24 on possible changes thanks to rising costs.

Back in July it was determined that costs would continue on an upward trajectory. The original cost of Project Connect was $5.8 billion, but now the price tag sits at an estimated $10.3 billion under 15% cost and design estimates. Officials said they were re-envisioning the project scope/sequencing to help soften price increases.

Project Connect staff have made the rounds with committees, meeting with Austin’s mobility committee, CapMetro’s joint planning and operations committee, and the community advisory committee, leading up to Aug. 24.

A host of alternatives have been looked at to restructure the project, including a more simplified underground tunnel track and elevated vs. at-grade sections of track.

Officials also are reaching out to the Federal Transit Administration on grant options while also updating the FTA on the light rail program’s development and national environmental standards compliance.

Read more articles on track construction.

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