Baton Rouge — TIGER Grant Awarded
The Times-Picayune reported on September 9 that a $1.8 million TIGER grant was awarded to the city to design the streetcar which would run from the LSU campus to downtown. The streetcar line, along part of what is known locally as the Nicholson Corridor, is a key part of plans to revitalize this corridor, and is among the city's highest priorities in its master plan.
Until now the streetcar plan has been only conceptual, but now firm plans can be drawn. There are a half dozen or more construction projects along the proposed route. These would add 2 million square feet of commercial space, 3,200 new multi-family housing units, and thousands of jobs.
The planned streetcar line would use modern cars, unlike the traditional streetcars and heritage-styled cars running not far away in New Orleans.
Original estimates for the project were in the neighborhood of $60 million. But more recently the proposed route has been extended from North Boulevard Town Square to the Louisiana State Capital, raising preliminary estimates to $100 million.
The design phase is estimated to cost $2.76 million, with a local match of $1 million added to the TIGER grant's $1.8 million to complete the job.