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Streetcar $23 million over budget, staff changes made, SDOT says

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan already announced work would be halted on the Seattle streetcar.

Seattle Department of Transportation’s Interim Director acknowledged he made a staff shakeup amidst new information that the Center City Connector streetcar project is millions over budget.

Goran Sparrman made the comments before and after a Seattle City Council briefing on the project. He says he had made changes to the project management, but declined to address specific names. Andrew Glass-Hastings is the Director of Streetcar Planning and Operations.

New numbers from the City’s Budget Office says the project faces a shade over $23 million in a capital deficit, and operational costs could balloon the line to over $200 million.

Mayor Jenny Durkan has already issued a stop work order, which Sparrman says could result in an up to six-month delay. The order was made to allow for an independent investigation into how the costs skyrocketed, following the Council’s approval of the new line last year.

The streetcar route is aimed at connecting the existing South Lake Union and First Hill lines, hence the name.

The Budget Office also now says there are also millions at stake with the delay, and it could cost the city up to an additional $13.6 million.

Budget Director Ben Noble says an outside consultant should be hired by the end of the week to conduct the investigation.

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