Walsh Construction has secured a $220.5m contract from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for the construction of a 4.1-mile route for OC Streetcar project between commuter rail at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center and Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove, California.
The $407m project will be funded by federal and state sources, and from Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, also called OC Go.
OCTA has been working with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) throughout planning and design phases.
OCTA chairwoman and county’s Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said: “This is an important milestone that puts us one step closer to breaking ground on the OC Streetcar.”
Apart from other federal funding, the FTA is considering a full funding grant agreement, which will meet half of the project’s cost.
The FTA gave OCTA pre-award authority to go ahead with the purchase of vehicles and the construction contract as the authority met all federal guidelines during the development of the project.
In March, the OCTA board approved a $51.5m contract with Siemens to provide eight vehicles for the OC Streetcar system. Of these, six vehicles will be in operation and two will be spare cars, which can be rotated into the system as needed.
The OC Streetcar will originate at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center and travel along Santa Ana Boulevard and Fourth Street and along the Pacific Electric right-of-way to Harbor Boulevard.
The route will serve Santa Ana’s downtown and dense employment areas, which include county and local government offices and courthouses in the Civic Center.
Expected to carry more than 7,300 passengers per day within its first year of operation, the OC Streetcar route will also connect with many of OCTA’s bus routes and Metrolink and Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner.
Construction on the OC Streetcar will begin later in 2018 with testing and operations beginning in 2021.
Image: An OCTA bus. Photo: Courtesy of Orange County Transportation Authority.