New cost estimates from CapMetro show that two of Project Connect’s light rails will cost nearly double the original price tag.
Project Connect Program Officer David Couch provided updates in a memo on Thursday, which said the planned Orange and Blue Lines will now cost $10.3 billion, compared to the original estimate of $5.8 billion.
- Originally expected to cost $1.3 billion + an additional $600 million = $1.9 billion for the Blue Line, which would connect downtown to the airport.
- With an original cost of $2.5 billion + an additional $1.8 billion = $4.3 billion for the Orange Line, which stretches from north to south Austin.
- A tunnel, which was originally supposed to cost $2 billion + an additional $2.1 billion = $4.1 billion.
According to Project Connect, it is normal for costs to fluctuate as the process moves along and can be attributed to a few things.
- The cost of real estate has had a “significant” increase—Project Connect originally estimated $250 million for land but now estimates $940 million.
- Inflation and supply chain issues included a 3.5% escalation, which is now hovering around 5% due to trends in the supply chain.
- Design changes have increased the length of the tunnel from 1.56 miles to 4.19 miles, plus new underground stations and a pedestrian concourse.
CapMetro said the new cost estimate will not require changing the tax rate that funds the project but that changes in cost would likely result in project adjustments.
Project Connect expects to complete the Blue and Orange line in 2028.
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Austin police are investigating the killing of Moriah "Mo" Wilson after she was found with gunshot wounds inside an Austin home.
Wilson, a gravel and mountain bike racer, was visiting Austin from Colorado in preparation for the Gravel Locos race on Saturday taking place in Hico, a small town 2 hours from Austin.
On Wednesday, her roommate came home and found Wilson unresponsive with "a lot of blood near her,” police said. It is now being investigated as a suspicious death. No further information on the suspect or motive behind the killing are available at this time.
Wilson recently had become a full-time biker after winning a slew of races in the past year.
Some of your favorite Instagram filters can’t be used in Texas anymore and Austinites are sounding off on social media.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, announced on Wednesday that certain filters would no longer be available in Texas.
The change is a result of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Meta, alleging the company uses facial recognition technology that violates laws in Texas. A release from Meta says it stopped using facial recognition tech in November 2021 and denies Paxton’s allegations.
Some Austinites bemoaned the shift, saying some of their favorite filters were now unavailable.
This was my FAVORITE filter on @instagram and they done removed it cause I’m in Texas ! Like wowwwwww pic.twitter.com/uX60hdIC0Q
— Pinkyy Montana (@inkstar_pinkyy) May 11, 2022
i heard that instagram filters got banned in texas? what the actual fuck y’all better give me my favorite filter back
— lia 🤍 (@liatootrill) May 11, 2022
loved this stupid filter sm i hate texas pic.twitter.com/DXr9mmUc64
— birthday boy jeno 🎂 (@beabtox) May 12, 2022
But more often than not, locals joked about the ban.
Texas women seeing the filter ban on IG pic.twitter.com/yDMcP3Qtsr
— Christian (Anabolic) Flores (@christian_flo24) May 11, 2022
So, the state of Texas has banned filter use on IG? THE END IS NEAR. 😂
— THE FRANCHISE! Франшиза (@NYCFranchise718) May 12, 2022
And some in-between chose to show off some natural beauty.
I live in Texas, but no filter needed. 😉 pic.twitter.com/A6teRgYMKn
— bad and bruja (@starseedmami) May 11, 2022
filter, no filter..texas women still reign supreme.
— 🎍 (@_sixile) May 11, 2022
Finally, some are trying to cash in on the opportunity.
Texas IG users- if you want to filter your picture cashapp me $1.50 $ErvnYng
— Gemini (@ervn_y) May 11, 2022
Meta said it plans to create an opt-in system for both Texas and Illinois residents, who are facing the same issues.