From Thursday's Post
: "District officials acknowledged yesterday that the city will have to pay more than $18 million to upgrade streets near the Washington Nationals' new stadium
, and some council members said the expenditure would push spending on the ballpark beyond the council's $611 million cap. [...] The commission's chief executive, Allen Y. Lew, said that though the stadium is proceeding on schedule for an April 2008 opening, the budget does not include money to handle transportation planning at the 41,000-seat ballpark. Team officials have said smooth access for up to 9,000 motorists driving to each game is critical to the success of the ballpark, along the Anacostia River near the Navy Yard and South Capitol Street." DDOT said in an interview that it has budgeted $18.4 million to widen and repave roads, repair cubs, add traffic lights and signs and plant trees near the ballpark, and that that money was allocated as part of planned upgrade work to the South Capitol Street
corridor before the stadium was awarded to Near Southeast in September 2004. All this of course brings the curtain up on yet another round of DC Council Ballpark Kabuki Theater
, with anti-stadium forces yammering about the cap being exceeded while pro-stadium forces contending that this doesn't violate the cap. Perhaps they'd prefer to spend Opening Day digging tour buses out of monster potholes on an un-upgraded South Capitol Street.
And, since I'm talking stadium cost cap, I'll finally mention this Examiner article
from three weeks ago (Save it for a slow day, I told myself--HAH!) that a deal has now been struck to put artwork on display at the stadium after all, without violating The Sacred Cap (see my entry on the original story