Portland — Feds Give $75 million for Streetcar Extension
Rail Transit Online, May 2009
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a total of $75 million to the Portland Streetcar's Loop Project, the first federal grant ever to a streetcar scheme and one
that was repeatedly blocked by the Bush administration.
The money includes $30 million from the FTA's Small Starts program and a $45-million earmark in the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill signed by President Obama in March. Another $72 million will be contributed by state lottery and local funds.
Part of the funding will be used to purchase seven new cars from United Streetcar, a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, which has partnered with Skoda of the Czech Republic to design and build the vehicles locally (above) with primarily U.S.-made components. "It's an opportunity to start a new American streetcar industry with Portland as its capital," said U.S. Rep.
Earl Blumenauer of Portland, a longtime champion of streetcars.
Stacy and Witbeck has already been selected as construction manager-general contractor for the 18-station 3.3-mi. (5.3 km) extension, which will bring the existing line across the Willamette River from 10th Street and Lovejoy in the Pearl District into Northeast Portland, then south to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. initial work is already underway and heavy construction should begin this summer and be completed in 2011. The line is expected to carry approximately 8,700 daily passengers on 10-min. headways.