Fort Lauderdale’s dreams of a Downtown streetcar system took an unexpected turn on Monday when the bids for the project came in much higher than anticipated.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) received four bids for the Wave Streetcar proposed for Downtown. And the city’s mayor, Jack Seiler, is concerned.
“All of the proposals came in substantially higher than expected,” he said.
The Sun Sentinel reports the bids are in the millions of dollars more than city officials planned for.
Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said she can't see the county commission agreeing to allocate any more funds if the true price of the project is reflected in the bids, which she said run from $80 million to $100 million over what was projected.
Fort Lauderdale’s City Commission first thought up the concept for a type of mass transit in the Downtown area in the late 1990s, but for now it still has a long way to go.
Seiler is also concerned about the use of overhead cables for the system. He thinks those should be taken out.
The next step in the process is for a selection committee to make an official recommendation to the Fort Lauderdale City Commission and all of the partners collaborating on the Wave.
The recommendation could include rejecting all four bids, redesigning the bidding process and even revising bidding requirements.
“It’s too early to determine the future of the project,” Seiler said.
The county would operate the system, funded in part by the federal government and the Florida Department of Transportation.