Project Update

Dohoney: Finalized Construction Contract “Imminent”

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Milton Dohoney JrThings are moving very quickly now!

Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. released another statement today, following a blog post on Cincinnati.com, that a finalized construction contract is imminent.

This is just more good news on top of the additional $5 million federal grant for the project and the ongoing utility relocation work. Once this contract is signed work can begin on other elements of the project including track and overhead wire work.

Additional information, about construction work on the Cincinnati Streetcar Maintenance Facility, will also reportedly be issued in the near future. But for now, here’s the update from City Manager Dohoney:

With City Council’s approval of $17.4 million, as well as the award of an additional $5 million in federal dollars in funding to the streetcar project, the streetcar project is sufficiently funded to proceed with the award of a construction contract to Messer/Prus/Delta Railroad JV (MPD), the low bidder.

The Administration is in the final stages of those discussions and we expect that to be executed in the immediate future.

The project team has been meeting regularly with MPD to discuss additional cost and schedule changes related to the delay between the anticipated Notice to Proceed (NTP) date of April 8, 2013 and the new award date.

MPD has requested additional funding in the amount of $492,933 related to increased costs for materials and labor resulting from this delay. This is covered in the current project budget.

As discussed before Council, the Administration was not able to negotiate the final contract provisions and associated costs until the money was available. No reductions to contract scope are included in this contract.

We’re very glad that the MPD team has remained committed over the last few months and it underscores our confidence that they are the right choice for our project.

The project team has reviewed MPD’s request and has concluded that the costs are reasonable and represent estimated costs associated with the delay in contract award, as well as the risk that Messer and City are willing to take due to this delay.

Utility relocation work to close W. Fifth and Walnut Streets this weekend

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This is a message we received from Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. yesterday:

Duke Energy will be working this weekend at the intersection of Fifth and Walnut Streets to relocate underground electric facilities. This work is being performed in conjunction with the Cincinnati Streetcar project.

W. Fifth Street will be closed between Vine Street and Main Street. Walnut Street will be closed between E. Sixth Street and E. Fourth Street.

This closure will be put in place on July 12, 2013 at 6 p.m. and will remain in place until July 15, 2013 at 6 a.m.

Walnut Street access to the Fountain Square Garage will be maintained, as will emergency traffic.

A marked detour will direct motorists around the closure site. Metro bus service will be detoured around the area.

Duke’s work will be performed generally between 7 a.m and 9 p.m., with minimally disruptive work taking place during nighttime hours.

Drivers are encouraged to reduce their speed and use caution when approaching the closure area.

Thank you for your patience during construction for the Cincinnati Streetcar. We’re doing our best to minimize impacts to residents, businesses and workers, but we understand this work can be an inconvenience from time to time. Once complete, the streetcar will help bring more jobs, more development, and more people to the city of Cincinnati!

As a reminder, please help keep workers safe: Use caution and drive safely through work areas.

Phase one gets an additional $22.4M in funding, utility work progresses

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Streetcar Utility Relocation WorkIt’s been quite a while since we’ve last updated you on the project, but there has been a bunch of news lately and we wanted to catch you up-to-speed with what’s happening.

First off, City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee approved $17.4 million in additional funding for the project on Monday by a 5-4 vote (Sittenfeld, Smitherman, Thomas and Winburn opposed), and also approved a motion that requests Mayor Mallory’s administration to provide regular updates on phase one work, and develop a funding plan and time frame for phase two work.

While these votes don’t become final until the full City Council votes on them, which will take place tomorrow at 2pm, we expect both items to pass with the same margins as they did in committee since it is made up of the full council.

The approval of the additional $17.4 million will then trigger the allocation of an additional $5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation, courtesy of its TIGER grant program. This money would not be available if council does not approve the full $17.4 million tomorrow.

“The DOT continues to support your bold vision for economic development and enhanced transportation choices for the city of Cincinnati, and we believe that this project is a significant component of that vision,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood explained in his grant letter to the City of Cincinnati.

Construction work also is progressing.

City Manager Milton Dohoney says that Greater Cincinnati Water Works has completed all of its work in Over-the-Rhine and that Cincinnati Bell has begun moving manholes along the route. Dohoney also says that Duke Energy has finally begun electric work in the Central Business District and that Level 3 has also begun to move its lines.

Work has yet to begin on relocated utilities from Time Warner Cable and the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), but Dohoney states that agreements are being finalized with Time Warner, and the MSD is putting its work out to bid.

With regards to the vehicles themselves, city officials traveled to Spain earlier this month to “review technical specifications, engineering and safety measures for the vehicles.”

And finally, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) has entered into a contract with Transportation Resource Associates (TRA), out of Philadelphia, to “revise and refine” the existing operations and maintenance plan for the project.

A lot of work is still to come, and this is shaping up to be a year with lots of exciting benchmarks. Make sure you connect with us on Twitter at @CincyStreetcar and like us on our Facebook page to ensure you’re getting the latest information.