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Harrisburg line overpass delayed again

Ugh. Just, ugh.

A rail overpass vital to completion of the East End light rail line that has divided neighbors and eroded public confidence will be delayed another four months, Metro officials confirmed Monday.

“It has been the project from hell from the beginning,” Metropolitan Transit Authority board member Cindy Siegel said. “It needs to get done.”

The ongoing construction will pose a hardship for Harrisburg-area residents and businesses.

Beyond those effects, Metro officials worry about the continued impacts of major projects encountering obstacles that prompt apologies from the transit agency.”I am tired of this agency being beat up for not doing what we say we will do,” board member Diann Lewter said.

The overpass was expected to open to traffic in mid-May, but the revised schedule approved Monday moves back completion by four months, to Sept. 12.

This means Metro and others responsible for completing the Green Line will need to hustle to have trains ferrying passengers on its last mile, east of the overpass, by Super Bowl Sunday.

In the interim, Metro and its contractor, McCarthy Building Companies, have agreed to reopen by June 12 the traffic lanes not using the bridge, re-establishing some vehicle traffic in the area. The construction effects have infuriated business owners along Harrisburg.

See here, here, and here for the background. The construction schedule was aggressive, but that was in part because a stretch of Harrisburg was closed to allow for speedier progress. Problems were already being acknowledged in November, and though there was some hope at that time that things could get back to the proposed timeline, it didn’t happen. After all the delays in getting the initial part of the Green and Purple lines open, it sure would have been nice to hit the mark on this one. And heaven help us if we have not-really-finished-yet light rail construction for another Super Bowl. Light a candle and say a prayer for this one, y’all.

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