The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority has selected HDR to complete an environmental assessment and preliminary engineering for extensions of the New Orleans streetcar network into the Central Business District and neighborhoods surrounding the French Quarter.
HDR previously did the alternatives analysis identifying streetcar investments for these areas and the related conceptual engineering.
The environmental assessment and preliminary engineering work, which is under way, is slated to be completed in summer 2010. HDR is also helping RTA apply for federal funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s TIGER Discretionary Grant Program, New Starts/Small Starts and the new Urban Circulator program.
RTA plans to go from concept to completion in just over three years, with a proposed opening date of 2012.
HDR’s alternatives analysis and conceptual engineering work, which was completed in September, was on a similarly fast track with the typical 18-month timeframe accelerated to 12 months.
The Locally Preferred Alternative selected by RTA based on HDR’s analysis includes the following streetcar extensions:
• Union Passenger Terminal/Loyola Avenue Streetcar Line
• French Quarter Streetcar Line
• Convention Center/Riverfront Streetcar Line
The increased mobility made possible by these extensions will provide public transportation benefits, such as access to job opportunities, and will spur economic and community development.