Chicago Circulator

RCED-95-216R: Published: Jun 2, 1995. Publicly Released: Jul 5, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on Chicago's Central Area Circulator, one of the major federal infrastructure investments for the future, focusing on: (1) the project's estimated costs; (2) current plans for the project's financing; and (3) issues concerning the project that are not fully resolved. GAO noted that: (1) the Circulator project is estimated to cost $775 million, including a reserve of about $117 million for cost overruns and change orders during the construction phase; (2) although final design work is being completed, construction has not yet begun; (3) the project's funding is to be split equally among federal, state, and city governments; (4) the state did not approve fiscal year 1996 funding for the project, so the city is assessing its options for funding for the project; (5) the project's impact on the current mass transit system is uncertain; and (6) transportation officials have yet to fully resolve how the light-rail project will link with other transit systems, ensure that its advanced signal system operates as planned, and ensure pedestrian and vehicular safety.

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