Hamilton LRT project has spent $74 Million.
Simultaneously with the Rob Ford pledge to allow Hamilton to spend the LRT funding as it sees fit we have been hearing various estimates of how much money has been already spent on the project. We asked Metrolinx to give us an update on the Hamilton funding and received the following reply.
As of end of February 2018, we have committed $103 million and of that commitment spent $74 million. This includes expenditures on the project dating back to 2007, including costs to complete the original environmental assessment for the project in 2011, the environmental assessment update in 2017, and staff costs over that time period to present. The committed figure also includes current commitments for consulting contracts to prepare all project design and engineering work, tender documents, and project oversight during the procurement and construction periods; and costs associated with property acquisition, leased spaces, and hard costs such as printing and equipment.
To provide greater detail on the amount spent to date, we have spent approximately $39.5 million on engineering and design consultants, $14 million on City of Hamilton costs that include staffing and consultant fees, $1.5 million on Metrolinx staff costs and $19 million on property acquisitions.
The $29 million in funds that are committed, but not spent, include items such as upset limits on existing consulting contracts for design and engineering work, purchase orders with utility companies for design work, and City staff costs.
Spokesperson I Senior Advisor, Media Relations & Issues, Communications & Public Affairs
So $74 Million has been spent, and out of that $19 Million has been spent to acquire property which presumably could be banked and re-sold should the project not proceed. So the sunk cost to date is actually $59 Million. The $29 Million committed but not spent seems to consist of contingencies for consultant cost overruns and other costs like utility relocation that would not be incurred if the project were not to proceed.
To be sure, $59 million is not chump change but it pales in comparison to other government boondoggles like the Billion dollar gas plant fiasco, the Green Energy policy that had driven hydro rates into the stratosphere and the millions spent on the Scarborough LRT before it was scrapped in favour of a one-stop subway line. By the way, the Scarborough LRT was scrapped after the RFP had been issued and an order placed for trains with Bombardier.