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New Orleans - February 2010

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New Orleans — $45 million TIGER Grant Received

Rail Transit Online, February 2010

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority's proposed 1.5-mi. (2.4 km) streetcar extension from Canal Street to Press Street along Loyola Avenue will be fully funded by the TIGER grant, with construction expected to begin by September. The RTA will now pursue a second phase, dubbed the "French Quarter Loop", running about four mi. (6.4 km) along North Rampart Street from Canal Street to Press Street with a 1.2-mi. (1.93 km) spur on Elysian Fields Avenue that would connect with the Riverfront streetcar.

Engineering to Start on Three Streetcar Extensions

A contract with HDR Inc. for environmental assessment and preliminary engineering on three proposed streetcar extensions has been approved by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. The work has already begun and is scheduled to be completed this summer.

The proposed alignments, which have been selected as locally-preferred alternatives, would cost about $150 million and would connect with existing tracks. They are:

• A Union Passenger Terminal/Howard Avenue loop from Lee Circle to Loyola Avenue and the Canal Street Line, 1.5 mi. (2.4 km);

• A French Quarter/Press Street loop with a spur
on Elysian Fields Avenue, 6.2 mi. (10 km);

• A Convention Center Boulevard loop serving the convention center and its hotel district and connecting with the Riverfront Line, 1.8 mi. (2.9 km).

An alternatives analysis and the related conceptual engineering were completed by HDR last September. The company is also helping RTA apply for federal funding under the TIGER, New Starts/Small Starts and Urban Circulator programs. The RTA hopes to fast-track construction and have the extensions open by the end of 2012.


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