Another delay for Jerusalem's light rail

CityPass gets 8-month extension to complete project.

Jerusalem residents who were anticipating riding the light rail this fall are in for a disappointment. On Wednesday night, arbitrators ruled that because of state and municipal actions, the CityPass consortium will not be able to complete the project in time and ordered the government to grant it an eight-month extension.
The rail system, which was scheduled to begin commercial operations on September 8, 2010, now has until April 2011 to do so.
The parties entered arbitration after an independent assessment by an engineering consultant informed CityPass that it would not be able to make the September 2010 deadline.
For years the two sides have been exchanging accusations, blaming each other for the delays in the project that was originally supposed to be completed in June 2006. On Wednesday, the arbitrators accepted CityPass’s assessment and pointed the finger at the state and city authorities, saying they were to blame for most of the delays.
CityPass said it had been vindicated.
“The arbitrator’s decision proves that the state is to blame for many of the delays, which is what we have been claiming all along,” the consortium’s spokesman said.
A Jerusalem Municipality representative issued a statement saying thecity would “do everything so that CityPass will be able to complete theconstruction and trial period within the time frame it committed to.”
Sourcesin CityPass said that despite the ongoing disputes between the sides,work was making progress and all sides were happy to have thearbitration done with.