Is The North Shore Connector The Biggest Waste Of U.S. Tax Dollars?

PITTSBURGH (NEWSRADIO 1020 KDKA) — As Congress and President Obama fight over the Federal budget, and the deficit continues to balloon, some ask just how we got into our current financial crisis.

Critics argue that there is a lot of government waste out there, and at the top of at least one list is Pittsburgh’s own North Shore Connector.

With a projected cost of more than a half a billion dollars that was funded with 80 percent of taxpayer money, one could easily argue that the cost may have out-exceeded the benefits of building a 1.2 mile tunnel under a river to serve two stadiums and a casino.

David Wallechinsky, founder and editor-in-chief of, a website that says they want to educate U.S. citizens on their government, tells KDKA AM’s Larry Richert and Mike Pintek that he believes the North Shore Connector is one of the biggest wastes of government funds in the U.S.

Listen to Wallechinsky’s interview with Larry Richert:

Listen to Wallechinsky’s interview with Mike Pintek:

Click here to read David’s article
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More from Larry Richert
  • John

    The North Shore is starting to blossom. This will get people in and out quickly without alot of traffic congestion. If Pittsburgh had not used the money, it would have gone someplace else. Better us than them.

    • bob

      that is just crazy!!! that’s why we are in a mess. the North Shore connector has toooo be one of the DUMBEST things ever done…the people should be fired that wanted this nightmare.

      • Dan

        When I was 5 I went to the beach and learned that digging a tunnel under the water in the sand was a bad idea!…..they could have built a bridge entirely made of silver for what they paid for this!

    • Michael


      That is ridiculous to state. You must be one of Dan Ornarotten’s minions.

      The money could certainly have been put to better use, here in Pittsburgh or any place else in Pa.

    • Common sense

      WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MAGLEV TRAIN?????? greensburg to monroeville to downtown to the airport in 22 minutes?????

  • Chris

    Yes, God forbid the money went to something where it could have been more useful instead of going to project that leads to a place where there are already half a dozen ways to get to.

  • Level Green

    @John…that’s typical political nonsense. Let me paraphrase you, if we didn’t use it, someone else would have used it on an equally stupid project. The bottom line is, someone spent my tax dollars on a stupid idea.

    Look at our new stadiums that used my tax dollars…..all it did was gave the Rooney family more money and didn’t do a thing to help the Pirates but hey, they look good on TV. Look at our airport, brand new but empty.

    Politicians in this region have a poor record of spending my tax dollars on truly worthwhile projects….that is unless you can name a few that actually worked out.

  • Employee

    Even the people who work for the Port Authority believe that this is the biggest waste of time and money

  • Ken

    Always thought the stadiums and casino should have been held responsible for a good part of cost. We basically built a large valet system for those few locations, which people have been getting to anyways. I have had no problem with parking in town and walking over bridge.

  • Weary Yinzer

    Of course, why use those funds to repair our rotting infrastructure or save teacher jobs? What we really need is a tunnel. reminds me of the episode of The Simpsons with The Monorail…

  • suzie q

    its all part of the city’s big dumb jock mentality

  • Phil Martin

    If people could be aressted for being incompetent they whole bunch who approved this mess wpild be in jail. So maybe ther eis something else at work here. Then again, after you leave the game or the casino you only have enough money left to ride the the trolley.

  • Greg

    This is going to be great for the North Shore, our public transportation is embarrassing, you cant get anywhere in this city. What major city doesn’t have a subway/transportation? This will only help with future expansion and is a no brainer

    • Michael

      Greg, lol, another one of Dan Onorotten’s minions.

      I’ll tell you what Greg, you spend your tax dollars on that tunnel to no where, I’d rather keep mine for… oh say, something like repairing these roads and fixiing bridges, idiot.

      • bob

        right on Greg,,,they should name it the Moron Tunnel.. maybe we could have used the money to maybe FIX the bridges…no let buld a stupid tunnel that the average person knew it was wrong from the beiginning but not one Pol.would stop it….

      • Just Saying...

        Why is expanding our pathetic subway system support Onoroto? I hate the guy, but love the idea that this area needs to expand the light rail system that is already in place. The north shore might not have been the first expansion I would have come up with, but it isn’t a bad idea if that line continues towards the airport/Robinson areas.


    Running a poll as to whether or not a project is beneficial or not before its even completed, is useless. Run the exact same poll 3 years from now after the project has been completed, operational and everyone gets to experience it. Then and only then, express a valid opinion.

    Will it make it easier for Pittsburgh Visitors to come and go from downtown to the NorthShore? Unknown, but probably!

    Will it improve traffic, congestion or parking? Unknown!

    Will it expand development and business on the North Shore? Unknown!

    Will it prove in the long run to be a boondoggle? Unknown!

    Should the money have been spent in the Pittsburgh area to develop an LRT connection to East Pittsburgh neighborhoods all the way to Monroeville? Reasonable Question, but never asked!!

  • Justapeon

    Reminds me of the old castle kingdoms. If we build it they will come mentality,
    we welcome all those that wish to be entertained, but how you get here is
    your problem. While we that run the kingdoms have all the easiest access and direct access, you will have to struggle to obtain access.
    Larry, I do agree with you, points from destinations required for the public for all reasons were more important than acces to pleasure palaces. This access should have been the last point.

  • Dan

    I was against this initially, however now I will use Public Transportation coming from Mt. Lebanon to Pirate and Pitt football games. After reading some articles about our region, I can see how this has the potential to be a huge move in the area. After this is completed, Several hotels are looking at the Railway as as a selling point. No longer will you HAVE to stay downtown to go to a sporting event. I can see hotels being built along the T stops and have people travel safely to and after games. Along with the fact that the North Hills is the fastest growing area in the region. By having the North Side served with the Subway.. it will only allow future development into this corridor easier and more financially feasible.

  • John

    The money was advocated for the subway only. It could not have been used for anything else, such as our roads or teacher jobs. This money, whether we like it or not , was not earmarked for that. As for Dan Onorato, he will be missed. He was much better than Jim Roddey. Some people always complain about preogress whwn it does not directly affect them!


    Why couln’t they put it to good use and not cut service or raise fare for Port Authority. Instead this stupid waste of taxpayers time and money. Makes too much sense I guess. Unfortunately most of us still rely on Port Authority and cannot afford not to use it. As far as the connector, my doctors office is on the Northside. I can walk a bridge or take a bus. Stupid waste of time.

  • Marilea

    If the project is ever completed it will benefit the future city residents and visitors. It is one of those many things that we will not benefit from. We are only paying for it.

  • allin

    The under water briidge is a must see tourist attraction already.

  • dansuxs

    I’m in no way a big fan of this wast of tax payer money…But CCAC students from the south hills will be also benefit by the completion of this monstrosity.

  • purvis

    maybe they can run the “SKYBUS” project through there too.

    Does anybody have a clue how much money half a billion dollars is??? all this and interstate 376 still finds itslef underwater several times a year.

  • T.J.

    YES! Fix the potholes and bridges. After all…we are known worldwide for our bridges.

  • Medoria

    Just think the cost way too great. I certainly think overall america needs better infrastructure like light rail systems… but it seems like we could have made cheaper expansions first. did it need to go underwater? we can’t even pay to keep up the bus routes that people rely on to get to and from work … :(

  • dave

    Ya, I wanna ride the cho cho through a hole in the ground to get to the buco stadium, and let the local jack booted storm troopers beat me with clubs and taze me. I would not step foot in either tax payer waste systems. Your water lines are failing, your sewers are overflowing into the river, and the local democommie government digs a billion $ hole. Only in the dreamland of democrat Pittsburgh. You people gotta get real.


    what a joke. 1/2 a billion on a tunnel to nowheresvlle. and they can’t even afford a bus to drive through it. that route was cut.

    • Mike

      Didn’t you hear? After laying people off and cutting routes, they are buying more, longer buses. They should lay off the morons in charge of this debacle!

  • Jessica Wooten

    gee after reading everyone’s comment and the articles;i do agree that its a waste of money. i wish they can put the money into the buses to keep them running. since that my only transportation to get to and from the city.

  • 4/22 Morning Buzz | PoliticsPA

    […] A Test To Vote? Baer Growls: Murphy’s Law? Times-Tribune Editorial: Redistricting Needs Reform CBS Pittsburgh: Is The North Shore Connector The Worst Use Of Taxpayer Money In The Nation? Citizens’ Voice […]

  • Joshua Vincent

    How to deal with a city and a region that is losing population and wealth? Build a tunnel? That’s called zero-sum, taking from one place to help another, when the whole area needs systemic change.

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