Washington, DC ― Streetcars Coming Mid-2013
Rail Transit Online, September 2011
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has released a request for bids to design and build all remaining elements of the 2.2-mi. (3.54 km) H Street/Benning Road streetcar line, ensuring that it will
be ready for revenue service no later than mid-2013.
A shortlist of four companies has already been qualified to submit offers for the job. Those facilities include catenary and
traction power substations, the western and eastern terminal reversing tracks, a maintenance facility at the east end and final improvements to already-completed infrastructure; tracks have been installed as part of a road reconstruction project. The line will connect Benning Road NE and Union Station, serving a run-down area that city officials hope will be revived by the streetcar.
Design at the Union Station end is still undecided after Amtrak refused to allow a streetcar stop under its tracks that would have given passengers a quick and convenient connection to the Metro and intercity and commuter trains. Several alternatives are now under consideration including running the streetcars to the New York Avenue Metro station.
"Whoever gets the (design-build)
contract will help us decide how to do it," DDOT spokesman John Lisle told The Washington Post. The H Street line could
eventually be extended to the Benning Road Metro station and along K Street to Washington Circle.