Hidden costs of transit


To the editor:

Major proposed transportation projects such as the $11 billion Gateway tunnel, $10 billion Port Authority bus terminal, the $6.9 billion Second Avenue subway second phase, and others that cost billions all have something in common that elected officials and transit agency CEOs never want to acknowledge: As any major capital project advances through design and engineering, estimated project costs continue to rise.

Responses to any construction procurement can come in above the project engineers’ estimate. Any final project cost upon completion could increase based upon responses to bids, along with change orders during construction due to last-minute changes in scope or unforeseen site conditions, inspections and acceptance of all work that also includes quality assurance and quality control during construction, followed by beneficial use, completion of contract punch list items — to ensure contractor built the asset to meet design and engineering contract specifications — receipt of asset maintenance manuals followed by contract closeout, release of retain age, and final payment.

Larry Penner

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Larry Penner