We support the mayor's effort to more clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the Portland Aerial Tram project. As costs have risen on the city's watch, OHSU has already seen its financial commitment rise from $9 million to about $29 million and the completion date move from mid-summer to late fall.
The Portland Development Commission today released a consultant's report that concludes that the challenges of this one-of-a-kind project can be overcome with strong city oversight and management. The report makes it clear that further delay poses the biggest risk for increased costs in the tram construction.
We support the consultant's recommendations that the city and its primary contractor add key staff positions to more tightly manage the schedule and add additional experienced cost engineers. We encourage the city to follow the consultants' recommendations about converting construction contracts so contractors are held responsible for staying within the budget.
We have not yet had a chance to thoroughly review the cost estimate in this report. We will seek additional explanatory data about the city's new budget figure and deadline.
We have made significant investments in our Marquam Hill hospital expansion and the Center for Health & Healing in South Waterfront that expand the research, teaching and clinical care we offer as part of our mission-directed service to Oregonians. These projects rely on the tram to link our crowded Marquam Hill Campus with our growing presence in South Waterfront.
Construction is well under way. In the coming weeks, the public will finally be able to see more visible signs of the city's progress on the tram. The investment it has triggered in the South Waterfront is already clear.