In the spirit of Thanksgiving, streetcar supporters delivered several dozen waffles from Taste of Belgium to construction workers along the streetcar route Wednesday morning. Over 200 workers are employed with hands-on jobs along the 3.6 mile route, meaning they’ve been laboring in snow and below freezing temperatures during the past several days. With the new anti-streetcar City Council in office, these workers also face the possibility of being laid off just weeks before Christmas if councilmembers vote to pause or cancel the project.
Construction crews working for Messer/Prus/Delta are primarily local contractors hailing from neighborhoods such as Loveland, North College Hill, Walnut Hills, and East Price Hill. We are grateful for the dedication and hard work these companies are contributing to build new infrastructure and make Cincinnati a better place for all.
Messer, Prus, Delta (MPD), constructor of the Cincinnati Streetcar, today reported they have met their inclusion goal of the project, awarding 18% of construction contracts to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). A DBE is defined as a small business owned and operated by minorities or women. recognized as socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
The contracts total more than $12.5 million to nine companies with DBE certification. MPD is building the 3.6-mile streetcar loop with total construction costs estimated at $70 million.
The streetcar project receives money from the federal government as well as local sources, and therefore, the project must use a DBE goal rather than a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) goal as seen in other locally-funded building projects.
The DBE goal for the civil construction contract for the streetcar project is 18%. The goal was based on an analysis of the highly-specialized scopes of work outlined in the construction contract, and available registered DBEs in the area. Disadvantaged businesses are involved in many areas of the construction, including: preparing streets for rail, building the Maintenance & Operations Facility, installing the street signalization and poles, and the station stops.
“MPD is committed to inclusion and we are pleased to have met the 18% DBE goal for construction contracts,” said Mark Luegering, senior vice president of Messer Construction Co. “We sought-out disadvantaged businesses during the bid period and award of contracts to play a significant role in construction and are pleased with the quality of our subcontractors.”
DBE Firms awarded contracts include:
- ABEL (Louisville, KY)
- Bansal (Fairfield, OH)
- Bowman (Marion, IN)
- Cannon (Lincoln Heights)
- Ezzie Trucking (Loveland)
- Firstar (Cincinnati)
- Jostin Construction (Walnut Hills)
- Rod Tech (North College Hill)
- TriState Construction (East Price Hill)
Construction work is on schedule to be completed fall 2016.
A second grade class from School For Creative & Performing Arts surprised workers at the 12th and Elm Street construction site, warming their hearts with a song. A crew of 20 from Prus Construction and Delta Railroad had spent the cold, drizzly day setting forms in preparation to pour concrete when the students arrived. Marching in single file, each with a handmade paper engineer’s hat, the train of children stationed themselves in front of the work site.
Complete with choreographed dance moves and a train whistle blown on cue, the students cheerfully sang “I’ve Been Workin’ On The Railroad” to the construction workers. The crew looked on in awe, some whipping out their cell phones to capture a video of the moment. Afterwards, the children delivered a handmade card to one of the crew members. It read “Thank you to all the hard workers,” and was signed by the class.
A family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness will take place this weekend at Washington Park in historic Over-the-Rhine. Cincinnati Maker Faire, inspired by the national Maker Faire by MAKE Magazine, will exhibit over 90 inventors and their trades, including a feature on the Cincinnati Streetcar.
“Coming Soon: The Road To Tomorrow!” will be the largest display of innovation at the faire. Manager Rail Services for METRO, Paul Grether, will be on hand answering questions about the streetcar project, and will showcase a built-to-scale model of a modern day streetcar. The booth, which will be located on the Elm Street side of the park, will also provide visitors with an up-close look at construction of the route. This week, Delta Railroad placed the first piece of steel track on Elm Street. Since then, a total of five sets of the 80-foot lengths of rail had been laid.
Part science fair, part county fair, Cincinnati Maker Faire is anticipated to be the greatest show (and tell) on Earth. The free event will take place this Saturday, October 19 and will run from 12pm to 10pm.