Mayor Mark Mallory, City Manager Milton Dohoney, Streetcar Project Executive John Deatrick and more than 70 supporters gathered on Elm Street in Over-the-Rhine to see the first rail placed in the ground for the construction of the streetcar project.
About a dozen pieces of rail made by Steel Dynamics, Inc. of Columbia City, Indiana arrived by truck Tuesday morning. A crane lifted the 80-foot lengths of rail that are approximately 3,000 lbs each. Messer/Prues/Delta (MPD), the construction contractor, will spend the next two weeks adjusting the rails to align to specifications, covering them in a rubber sleeve, and placing and finishing the concrete in the track bed.
While the rail work takes place on Elm Street, construction of the maintenance facility continues on Race Street. Additionally, utility work and track bed preparation is ongoing in areas throughout Over-the-Rhine and the Central Business District. Deatrick noted that in addition to building a streetcar, renewing utility infrastructure is part of the project contract. These necessary repairs to sewer, water, electric, and data lines will benefit both downtown and neighborhoods as the route progresses. Overall, construction on the Cincinnati Streetcar is proceeding on time and on budget.
The public will see the same rail installation process during the next year and half of construction on the entire 3.6-mile streetcar route:
- MPD, the construction contractor, will dig a trench about 8 feet wide to excavate the track area
- Then, they will tie and weld rebar in to the track bed to support the rails
- After that, the rail is loaded onto the rebar
- From there, MPD will spend the next two weeks or adjusting the rails to align to specifications, covering them in a rubber sleeve, and placing and finishing the concrete in the track bed.
This entire process for one area takes about a month.
Rail deliveries will occur about every two weeks through Spring 2015. There will be around 40 rail deliveries total. The next several will be on Elm Street, as MPD continues to move north along Elm Street In January 2014, rail placement will begin on Race Street, south of Findlay Market.