Sun Link Streetcar Public Works Project of the Year

The Southern Arizona Branch of the American Public Works Association (APWA) announced today that the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar Project has been named the Public Works Project of the Year.

The $196 million project, co-managed by the City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), is expected to launch service July 25, 2014.

The Sun Link Streetcar project is considered to be Tucson’s largest and most complex transportation construction project in the City’s history.  The Sun Link Streetcar project, which includes eight streetcars operating on a 3.9-mile route, between the downtown area and the University of Arizona campus, has received $75 million in RTA funding toward the streetcar project capital costs and will receive another $12 million toward streetcar operations. Federal dollars, including a $63 million (TIGER) grant, the largest of its kind awarded to a single project, cover the remaining project costs. The Sun Link Streetcar project is part of the $2.1 billion RTA plan, which was approved by Pima County voters in May 2006.

“The Streetcar team is extremely excited about this award and we appreciate the acknowledgement of the 10 years of hard work that has gone on in developing this project,” said Shellie Ginn, Sun Link Streetcar Project Administrator.   “It has been amazing to see the incredible economic development that has occurred along the streetcar line and we are looking forward to providing the community with this new mode of service as we approach our grand opening.”

Key successes of the streetcar project included a high level of cooperation among all partners, the creation of more than 500 construction-related jobs, economic impact of more than $800 million invested along the route, installation of $19 million in needed infrastructure improvements, extensive outreach to the public as well as businesses along the route, emphasis on Made in America jobs and materials for the project, and collaboration among various populations and neighborhoods along the streetcar route.

Two major accomplishments included the ability to successfully work with multiple contractors on construction of the streetcar project and on ancillary projects supporting the streetcar, as well as maintaining access and helping to ensure security to critical government facilities.