“If I was not running for Mayor and challenging City Hall’s spending, my opponent would have continued to ram-rod this pet project through”
Not surprisingly, Commissioners Adams’ opponent in the race for mayor, Sho Dozono, has issued a statement in response to Adams’ decision to pull the plug on the plan to re-use the Sauvie Island Bridge span as a bike/ped bridge in Northwest Portland.
Here’s the statement (emphasis mine):
“For the sake of the taxpayers I am pleased that my opponent came to his senses and ended the Sauvie Island Bridge project. This proposal is the most recent, in a long list of projects that are completely out of synch with the City’s core priorities. If I was not running for Mayor and challenging City Hall’s spending, my opponent would have continued to ram-rod this pet project through,” Dozono said.
“With recent media accounts of the $18.5 million cost overrun to the city’s new payroll computer system and the doubling of the cost of the Eastside Streetcar Burnside/Couch Couplet project, Sam Adams knew that spending $5.5 million on a bridge for the Pearl District and NW Portland was not going to make Portland taxpayers happy,” Dozono said.
“I have consistently communicated my opposition to the Sauvie Island Bridge project. I support safe alternative for pedestrians and cyclists. There are so many other pressing priorities such as safe sidewalks for all of Portland’s school children and the lack of affordable housing for Portlanders who are one paycheck away from losing their homes,” Dozono said.
“Commissioner Sam Adams indicated that his “flip-flop” on the Sauvie Island Bridge project is due to rising energy prices. How can anyone not be aware of rising gas prices? Since the beginning, Commissioner Adams has manipulated City Hall to spend money on his projects without the scrutiny of the general public,” Dozono said.
“Portlanders have the opportunity to send a clear message to Sam Adams, one that says you want a City Hall that is accountable to taxpayers. As Mayor, I will focus the City on providing core services to Portlanders,” Dozono said.
“My campaign is focused on prioritizing spending. I have promoted a rainy day fund to weather downturns in the economy. I have proposed a $50M set aside specifically for infrastructure and public safety so that core services will not face budget cuts in budget-cutting years. I have the experience to lead in challenging economic times.”
Just to be clear, in addition to uneasiness about the cost estimates of the Sauvie project (and all of PDOT’s projects) due to higher fuel prices, Adams made it clear in his press conference this morning that his decision to pull the plug had to do with how those higher prices would impact the competitive bid portion of the project.
$3.9 million from the total project estimate of $5.5 million was at a “guaranteed maximum price” that the contractor (Kuney Construction) could not go over (or they’d have to pay the difference). The remaining part of the project would have gone to the lowest bidder.
What Adams said is that given how high fuel prices are making projects like this more expensive, he did not think that those bids would come back at $1.6 million or less — which is the difference between his stated estimate of $5.5 and the $3.9 guaranteed max to Kuney.