The transportation agency says the county has delayed final project property acquisitions and $1.3 million in road and signal improvements, and that this could impede the project. TriMet claims that the county is breaking its contracts with TriMet by not letting construction of the line continue as previously agreed.
In a press release announcing the lawsuit, TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said that since the November election, the county's cooperation on the project "has dissolved."
The lawsuit contends that a Clackamas County ballot measure that calls for a public vote before the county spends money on rail projects does not apply to the Portland-Milwaukie light rail because the county's commitment preceded the November passage of Measure 3-401.
"We understand that Clackamas County voters want a say in any rail projects based on Measure 3-401, but that does not affect the current Portland-Milwaukie project," Fetsch said. "Unfortunately, we have to take this action to prevent delays that could impact the overall cost and schedule of the Project."
The lawsuit says the county was supposed to transfer all necessary property to TriMet by Dec. 6, 2012, but still has not done so. TriMet also asks that a judge declare that the county must follow through on its contracts.
"Our focus is to keep the project on time, on budget and create jobs as we build a more efficient transit system," Fetsch said.
Trimet throws the word budget around like it matters. The gold plated crime train is being built at a cost of $250 million per mile, an amount that Trimet will never get back. The build out seems pretty ridiculous considering we found out just a few weeks ago that Trimet may be forced to reduce their service by as much as 20 percent in just seven years!
Now it looks like the county may be on the hook for this billion dollar boondoggle, whether they want it or not.