Streetcar project on schedule even with bad weather

Mar 3, 2015

Artist rendering of the Cincinnati streetcar project.
Credit Provided / SORTA

Construction work continues on the first phase of the Cincinnati streetcar project despite lots of snow and cold temperatures.  Crews once again plan to work on track at a busy downtown intersection this weekend. 

Project executive John Deatrick said that construction has been delayed twice because of the weather.

“The rail will start Friday night at 7 p.m., Fifth Street will be closed because we can’t put the rail down half at a time in the intersection,” Deatrick said.  “We have to do the whole intersection at one go.”

Track installation at Fourth and Walnut will take place next month.  Streetcar construction in the Central Business District will be coordinated with major Downtown events including Opening Day next month and the baseball All-Star Game in July.

Project executive John Deatrick spoke about the contingency fund balance that has been under careful watch for several months.

“If everything happens, kind of worst case, we’ll have about a million dollars left according to this prediction,” Deatrick said.

The first streetcar vehicle is scheduled to arrive in Cincinnati sometime in September, and all of the vehicles should be here by the end of the year.

“We will move the car around the actual route itself,” said Chris Eilerman, who is also working on the project for the city.  “To get that burn in time to make sure that we’ve identified any issues that might have come out of the production process.”

The city and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority say they hope to finalize an operating agreement for the streetcar by the end of June.  That will allow employees to be ready to take delivery of the first streetcar.  Passenger service is scheduled to begin in September 2016.