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.
If you’ve been in Washington Park by Elm Street, you’ve seen that we started removing pavers this week.
The granite pavers have to be taken out so we can prepare the track bed for the streetcar. But don’t worry – they’ll be back! Meser/Prus/Delta will clean the pavers and put them back in Elm Street once track work is finished.
Open for business…
You can still get to Washington Park Garage from Elm Street at this time. Construction teams are also providing pedestrian crossings between Music Hall and Washington Park during this portion of construction.
What is trackwork, anyway?
Steel rails are just one part of the streetcar track. Building the track is a process. When we’re doing embedded trackwork, you’ll see us:
- digging a trench
- laying a gravel base
- creating a steel rebar framework
- laying ties & rails
- pouring the concrete track slab
Obviously, it’s a bit more complicated than that. But as a general overview, that’s what you’ll see.
These photos from Messer/Prus/Delta (taken in Atlanta) illustrate the process.
Progress this week:
- Demolition for the Maintenance & Operations Facility continued at 1910 Elm St. (east building). Soil is being stockpiled for the basement backfilling.
- Exploratory digging for utilities continued on Race Street, between 14th and Liberty streets; and started on Central Parkway between Race and Walnut streets.
- Conduit installation for traffic signals continued on Race between 14th and Green streets.
- Water main installation continued on Central Parkway between Vine and Walnut streets.
- New sewer installation continued on Elm Street by Washington Park; and started one block north, between 14th and 15th streets.
- Paver removal began along Elm Street, next to Washington Park.
- Duke Energy conducted underground gas work on Elm Street between 12th and Wade streets; and on Elm near Green Street.
- Duke Energy also conducted underground electrical work on Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets; and on Walnut Street near Court Street.
- Notification to businesses and residents concluded on Elm Street across from Washington Park and began on Elm Street between 14th and 15th streets.
Planned for next week:
- Water main installation will continue on Walnut Street between Ninth Street and Central Parkway. Traffic will be minimally restricted at all times.
- Conduit installation for traffic signals will continue on Race Street between 13th and 15th streets. Work will start on Elm Street near Liberty Street; and on Race Street between Findlay and Henry streets. Traffic will be minimally restricted at all times.
- Exploratory digging will resume on Elm Street near Liberty Street. Traffic will be minimally restricted at all times.
- New sewer installation will continue on Elm Street between 14th and 15th street. 14th Street will be closed from Central Parkway to Race Street.
- Demolition for the Maintenance & Operations Facility will continue at 1910 Elm St. (east building). Traffic will be minimally restricted at all times.
- Paver removal will continue along Elm Street, next to Washington Park. Existing pavement and rail removal also will start along this stretch of Elm Street. Traffic will be limited to one lane. The entrance to Washington Park Garage will be maintained.
- Duke Energy will conduct underground gas work on Race Street near Findlay Street; and on Race Street between Liberty and Elder streets.
- Duke Energy will also conduct underground electrical work on Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets; and on Walnut Street near Court Street.
- Notification to businesses and residents will continue on Elm Street between 14th and 15th streets.