With Phase 2 of the Tucson Modern Streetcar project underway, downtown Tucson, Arizona is going to see a major upgrade. The fully electric single-line system called Sun Link will be built seamlessly into a downtown area that employs more than 60,000 people (according to tucsonaz.gov). The city wants the Modern Streetcar to be the main vessel for public transit throughout the city and help revive the areas it will soon be making stops through daily. City officials are meeting the evening of December 6 to get a better idea of what has already been done to renovate the area as well as what still needs to be accomplished along with the Sun Link line to make a more thriving and bustling city. Just one of the major connections will be linking the University of Arizona with downtown.
As stated, construction on the Tucson Modern Streetcar has already begun, with a forecasted completion date of late 2013. This project requires extensive work to be done on the roads and public spaces of the downtown area. There will be a great need for Tucson dumpster rentals to avoid a mess that spills out beyond the work sites. Construction crews are currently tearing up roads, relocating and upgrading in-ground utility lines, and placing massive beams of welded rail in their desired locations. From there they have to pour concrete, repave the streets and set up the overhead conductor before the lines will be operational for public use.
From a Railway Age article: the project began in February of 2009 when the city of Tucson was given a grant of $63 million from the Department of Transportation as well as the passing of a tax increase of half a penny back in 2006. This amounts to a project totaling close to $200 million. The wheels (so to speak) have been in motion for quite some time but the need for roll-off dumpsters has not been necessitated until recently. According to Railway Age, Tucson became only the second US city to order streetcars from United Streetcar (based out of Oregon) by placing an order for six, which will be the number they wish to have running at all times. The designs are based on a model by a company located in the Czech Republic.
This is big news for the downtown area and the entire city of Tucson as a whole. It will hopefully help reinvigorate downtown and make residents as well as tourists flock there more often for day trips and nightlife. According to a Tucson News Now article, “The City says there are a lot of vacant lots downtown or as officials phrased it, a lot of opportunities.” If all goes to plan, Tucson will be a city to watch when it comes to efficient transit and great entertainment. Within a year we should see the completion of the Tucson Modern Streetcar, and hopefully within the coming years see its emergence in other cities across the country. Cincinnati is one that has already expressed interest in the electric transportation system according to the same Railway Age post.