Three months ago the City of Portland hired Pinnell/Busch, an engineering firm with expertise in scheduling and construction management, to review the progress of the tram project. Pinnell/Busch issued its report about six weeks ago. (I wrote a little about it, here.)
Pinnell/Busch concluded that the Ftpht was going to cost in the range of $55 million, and recommended that the City take several actions to improve how the project was being managed. One of the recommendations was that the City needed to hire a cost manager/engineer for at least two months full-time, and then about half time through the completion of the tram, to (in the report's words) "ensure that the City has a reliable budget and stays on track."
The Knower of All Things diffidently asked if the City has hired a cost manager or cost engineer to monitor the project, in such a way as to make me think that he knows that the City hasn't. If I were the City of Portland (note to Kari C.: I'm not) and I had commissioned an outside expert's report on a burgeoning fiasco, and the expert had made some recommendations, whenever I carried out one of the recommendations I would trumpet the fact. (Old Father Laquedem used to say that there's no point in hiring an expert if you're not willing to take his advice.) If the City has done what Pinnell/Busch suggested, it's high time for the City to say so. And if it hasn't, it's high time to ask why not.