Streetcar misses critical date on completion timeline

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati streetcar project has passed a critical date on its timeline towards completion.

In the manuals used by all of the contractors bidding on the project, the City clearly states the "notice to proceed" was planned for April 8th and the work then had to begin within five days.

In November of 2012, the City began asking for bids on the project and those bids were due by February 8, which came in millions over budget.

The City Administration promised to get to work finding out why the numbers were so far off, but there has been no official update since then.

FOX19 has learned that two and a half weeks ago, the City along with Metro brought in project leaders from other cities like Atlanta and Denver, along with industry experts for a peer review on the project. Even John Deatrick who has been named as the prospective project manager was in attendance.

The review was moderated by the American Public Transportation Association. Project dollars were used to fly the team to the Queen City, but all the time was volunteered.

The official report from the review is expected within 60 days from the March 25-27 review. In the meantime, city leaders voted Wednesday to bring in a new project leader to take the reins, but if it is Deatrick he has not been hired yet.

Messer Construction, the lowest bidder, says they are in discussions with the City but have yet to receive a formal project award.

At least some federal grant monies for the project currently require construction to start in June.

In response to FOX19's request for more information regarding the progress of the project a City spokesperson sent the following statement:

"Your questions are good ones and we are working on what the ramifications of missing this date are. We are trying to turn every stone over to keep the project on track and ate talking with our partners at the federal level as well as the lowest bidder to see about next steps. The city will have more information to tell you and the public next week."

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