The Atlanta Streetcar project reached a key milestone this week with the delivery of the first section of track on Edgewood Avenue.
Crews lowered seven sections of rail into the track bed near the intersection of Bell Street and Edgewood Avenue and will continue the installation east along Edgewood Avenue towards Jackson Street. This is the first time in more than 60 years that Atlanta has had streetcar tracks.
“Today’s construction activity signifies an important step forward for the Atlanta Streetcar project and underscores the city’s commitment to build a new, world-class transit system that will benefit residents, businesses and visitors for years to come,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “There is real momentum gaining for this project and once completed, the Atlanta Streetcar will be transformational for the downtown corridor.”
The Atlanta Streetcar project is a cooperative effort by the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) and MARTA. The 2.7-mile line will run through the heart of Atlanta’s business, tourism and convention corridor, bringing jobs and new economic development to the city. It is expected to serve as a catalyst for millions of dollars in new residential, office and retail development.
“We are pleased to reach this milestone in the Atlanta Streetcar project,” said A.J. Robinson, president, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. “The installation of track is a critical and exciting step, and we look forward to the economic development opportunities the Atlanta Streetcar will provide.”
The design-build services for the project are managed by URS, a leading provider of engineering, construction and technical services that has been involved in streetcar projects nationwide, including cities such as Portland, Spokane, Tucson, Dallas, Seattle, Tacoma, Charlotte and Tampa. The firm has also teamed with prominent companies including C.W. Matthews, G.W. Peoples and seven minority or disadvantaged business enterprises based in the Atlanta area.
“The first day of track construction represents a significant milestone for the Atlanta Streetcar,” said Ed Hrinewski, URS Project Director. “We are excited to contribute to this great project that once completed will enhance access to work, educational and recreational opportunities in the downtown corridor.”
Each section of rail is approximately 80 feet in length and weighs 3,040 lbs. Construction contractors forecast completing one block of track installation every three to four weeks.
The streetcar line will include 12 stops with access to major attractions like the World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, the Georgia Aquarium, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the historic Auburn Avenue corridor, the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement. The line, which reconnects the two halves of downtown that were disconnected by freeway construction, will also directly connect with MARTA’s rail and bus systems, and will have eventual connectivity to the Atlanta BeltLine. New bicycle facilities, upgraded sidewalks and pedestrian environments are all part of the Atlanta Streetcar project.
Construction of the alignment is underway and service for the Atlanta Streetcar is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014.