(handwritten transcription* from a conversation with Sinclair Black, who completed the original 2003 Guadalupe Street Transit Corridor Improvement Project, which was permitted for construction twice.)
“Original construction budget: $4 million
“Original master plan’s budget: $400 thousand (Capital Metro and City of Austin each contributed $200 thousand)
“When the project was shifted from CapMetro to the City (@2000), permits were pulled for construction. But then the City’s transportation department required either 14 or 17 variances, of which all but one** were being taken care of already, so these new variances were essentially bogus according to the City’s own green books. The City Manager at that time (2004) agreed with my assessment.
“In any case, a permit was pulled in 2004, and the project was ready to go to bid. But the City diverted the funding to Lamar and, by the time the City’s attention went back to The Drag, that permit was out of date. So we got a second permit in 2007, and it was ready to go to bid again, but the next prior identified by the City was the repaving of 45th.
“They already have $400 thousand in permitted drawings and now they’re spending about another $200 thousand to get the ball rolling all over again? And so here we go, reinventing the wheel and wasting more taxpayer dollars on something that’s already been done.”
* thus any omissions or errors should be attributed to this fair scribe.
** the radius of the curb at 21st (by the Scientology building) was called into question due to the fact that only one type of City vehicle couldn’t make the turn, being the sewage pumper.