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New Orleans - August 2001

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New Orleans – Streetcar Ceremony

Rail Transit Online, August 2001

Groundbreaking was held July 20 for the long-delayed Canal Street streetcar line, although actual construction isn’t likely to begin until early September (see next story). A slew of local dignitaries wielding ceremonial shovels attended the event, during which speakers praised the project for its ability to enhance transportation alternatives, reduce air pollution and traffic congestion, encourage tourism, beautify Canal Street and produce more jobs. “It's a project I just love,” said Mayor Marc Morial. The 4.1-mile, $157-million project between the Mississippi River and the cemeteries is scheduled to be completed in early 2004. 

Let The Work Begin

The Regional Transportation Authority voted to approve a $19.5-million construction contract on July 24 for the first segment of the Canal Street project. The job went to Boh Bros. Construction Co., for the 1.5-mile portion between Baronne and Salcedo streets. Contracts for two additional sections are tentatively expected to be awarded in October and December. The restored line, to be built in the neutral ground (median) of Canal Street, will be equipped with 23 new streetcars being built by RTA personnel at the Carrollton Barn. The trolleys will resemble vintage Perley Thomas cars running on the St. Charles line but will have clerestory roofs to hide air conditioning gear, a modern propulsion system and wheelchair lifts. RTA Deputy General Manager Donald Preau told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that assembly of the first trolley is about 30 percent complete and work on the second is just getting started. Once the first two units are completed and reconstruction of Carrollton is finished in December, Preau hopes to produce one new car every four weeks at a cost of about $1.2 million each. A prototype has been operating a shuttle between the foot of Canal Street and Baronne Street since December 1999.


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