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Dilworth Plaza Renovation Slightly Slower, Costlier Than Initial Plan

(Construction workers and equipment still dominate Dilworth Plaza, on the west apron of City Hall, as it undergoes a massive makeover above and below ground.  Photo by Mike Dunn)

(Construction workers and equipment still dominate Dilworth Plaza, on the west apron of City Hall, as it undergoes a massive makeover above and below ground. Photo by Mike Dunn)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The redesigned Dilworth Plaza, flanking Philadelphia City Hall on its west side, will take a bit longer to build than originally planned, and will cost a bit more.

But, say those in charge of the project, it should be ready to open by early next fall.

When the Center City District began managing the project, it originally set a completion date of late spring or early summer 2014 (see previous story).

But, observes Center City District president Paul Levy, “During the last two years we’ve encountered the normal things you find underground in a very old city.”

Levy says that as they work around operating SEPTA transit lines and other underground facilities, they have run into old stairwells and pipes that predated Dilworth Plaza — as well as conduits and banks of ducts that weren’t on engineering drawings.

“And it slowed us down by about two months,” Levy tells KYW Newsradio.  And he anticipates a bit more inconvenience around the City Hall apron through the first half of 2014.

“But as we move to Labor Day, we’ll be putting the finishing touches on it and getting ready to open a really exciting plaza on the west side of City Hall,” he says.

The delay has bumped up the cost of the project to $55 million, about a ten-percent increase from original estimates.

“We have, through financing and fundraising, all the funds in place to complete the project,” Levy notes.