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Tucson - October 2010

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Tucson ― Streetcar Budget Deficit Reduced

Rail Transit Online, October 2010

New budget evaluations have reduced the cost of Tucson's planned downtown streetcar line to $180 million. The new figure was released after a quarterly review by the Federal Transit Administration.

More savings could come by switching from girder rail to T rail because the former is reportedly not available from domestic steel mills. Jim Glock, Director of Tucson Department of Transportation, called T rail "a viable alternative" even though additional design work will be necessary.

Michael Barton, vice president of HDR Engineering Inc., says there will be only a slight delay in completing the design, which is now at the 60 percent level. "We think the domestically-procured rail may be cheaper, the track work might be a little more expensive but not a major cost impact by switching the rail section," Barton told the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

The only major contract to be placed so far is with United Streetcar for seven vehicles. The city's procurement department reports that the contract is within budget and on schedule. Construction pacts will go out to bid once the city gets authorization from the FTA.

The 3.6-mi. (5.8 km) line should open in mid-2013, connecting the University Medical Center, the University of Arizona campus, downtown and the Rio Nuevo cultural center.


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