The federal government will pick up the tab for the $1.6 billion Central Subway project. They will -- local transit officials just know they will.
A cool $850 million from the feds is needed to complete the funding picture for the 1.7-mile connector from Caltrain to Chinatown, money that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency doesn't have -- and money that was supposed to be in place in December, the Bay Citizen reported. Federal officials have yet to officially approve the funding, and if they don't make the move by September, costs on the project could begin to balloon, the Web site reported.
Construction on the project is already delayed: actual digging on the tunnel was supposed to begin in 2011, but now is scheduled to start in 2013, the Web site reported.
John Funghi, program director for the subway project, said in emails obtained by a citzens' group opposed to the subway project that the federal delay "doesn't feel right."
The delay could cost the city up to $4 million per month while it waits for the feds to approve the funding, Funghi wrote -- or more, if the city is forced to issue bonds to cover costs while Washington mulls sending the dollars.
Federal officials did not comment to the Bay Citizen. Activists with Save Muni, a group opposed to the Central Subway "boondoggle," said that they hoped the delay could go on long enough to kill off the project.
SF transit officials are "running scared," one member of Save Muni told the Bay Citizen.
The emails also reveal that transit officials arranged for supporters of the project to speak at a May 1 hearing.