Panos Prevedouros, PHD

BY PANOS PREVEDOUROS PHD – Audit: Norfolk officials knew of light-rail overruns, kept silent. Cost overruns of 45% were hidden very much like Honolulu Transit Division hides from inquiries submitted by city council members and refused to cooperate with Governor Linda Lingle consultant investigating the proposed rail’s finances.

Here’s the story at Norfolk, Virginia: “City officials knew costs skyrocketed since 2007 but failed to reveal information to City Council. State inspector general indicated that HRT officials intentionally misled federal, state and some city officials about the amount of the overruns, to the point of maintaining a second set of books.”

Norfolk is building a 7.4-mile light-rail line, the biggest public works project in Norfolk’s history. Originally $232M, now ballooned to $338 million, paid for with federal, state and city funds.

This excerpt also makes painfully clear the difference between heavy and light rail. Light rail in Norfolk is costing them $46 million per mile including the 45% cost overruns. Honolulu’s heavy rail will cost $265 million per mile plus overruns. This is yet another version of Peter Carlisle’s definition of “fiscally responsible.”

If you recall, the other one is that rail will cost us about one million dollars for every car it will allegedly remove.

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