Sky Train Cost Disputed -- Feds Say $2.3 Billion, Phoenix Says $1.6 Billion

Aviation officials are having a dogfight over the cost of a new train that will carry passengers through Phoenix International Sky Harbor airport.

A U.S. Department of Transportation newsletter dug up by Emily Gersema over at the Repub states the cost of the PHX Skytrain would be about $2.3 billion. This caused some embarrassment for city of Phoenix officials, who claim the project three phases will take only $1.6 billion.

Today, KTAR's reporting that Sky Harbor "refutes" that cow-chip nonsense about $2.3 billion. (The feds later said the number was a typo.)

The project's first stage goes online in early 2013 -- it has the Logan's Run-style Skytrain running between the 44th Street Metro Light Rail station, the east economy parking lot and the airport's Terminal Four. Stage Two will deliver passengers to the rest of the terminals, and Stage Three plugs everything in to the Rental Car Center, according to the city's Skytrain Web site.

Officials told KTAR the first two phases would total only $888 million. They admitted they couldn't be 100-percent on the final cost, but are sticking with the lower number.

In any case, getting to Phase Three assumes the city doesn't pull a Stockton, California.


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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern