North Shore Connector Project Sees $1.2M Setback

PITTSBURGH,None — A Performance Oversight Committee met on Wednesday after officials found out the North Shore Connector project in Pittsburgh had a $1.2 million setback involving the installation of a wrong cable.

Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie said the connector is 70 percent complete and should be ready to open by March 2012, but the recent setback will take some time to correct.

"We're starting to see tracks inside the tunnel on the Allegheny River" Ritchie said. "We're starting to see (the) new station take place at Gateway and North Side. As it comes up near Heinz Field, it's above ground and elevated in that area so the station (is) actually above ground at the intersection of Reedsdale near the Carnegie Science Center."

Port Authority officials discovered a consultant installed a cable that wasn't fire proofed, Ritchie said. The Port Authority hopes to recover about half of the $1.2 million from the consultant's insurance company and the other half from the project's contingency fund.

Ritchie said the mishap won't add cost to project. He even noted on Wednesday that the Port Authority was able to cut $24 million from the budget over the last year.

"We caught the mistake. We're fixing the mistake," Ritchie said. "It's going to add a little more money, and we'll get that from the contingency, so it won't add to overall price tag to the project."

When completed, the North Shore Connector will extend the Port Authority's Light Rail transit system 1.2 miles from the Gateway Subway Station underneath Stanwix Street and the Allegheny River to the North Shore.

Last year, Port Authority rail engineering officer Winston Simmonds took Channel 11 News 50 feet below the city streets to show the project's progress.

Then, Simmonds said the project was halfway complete.

The basic construction of the two tunnels is finished and they already connect Pittsburgh to the North Shore.

Previous Stories: January 25, 2010: Intersection Closed Due To North Shore Connector Construction December 1, 2009: North Shore Connector On Schedule, $100M Over Budget October 20, 2009: North Shore 'T' Work To Affect Downtown Traffic Patterns March 3, 2009: Council Member Voices Concerns Over North Shore Connector Funding February 27, 2009: Port Authority Awards 2 More North Shore Connector Contracts, Hopes For Federal Stimulus Money February 19, 2009: Rendell Calls North Shore Connector 'Tragic Mistake' February 18, 2009: North Shore Connector Work To Continue With New Plan January 15, 2009: North Shore Connector's Boring Machine Completes Tunnels

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