Orange County

Construction bids sought for streetcar

ARTIST’S RENDERING of a streetcar in Santa Ana. Will the planned OC Streetcar begin construction in 2018? (OCTA image).

The OC Streetcar project connecting Garden Grove to Santa Ana has taken another step toward becoming a reality. The Orange County Transportation Authority’s board of directors has approved inviting bids for construction of the planned 4.1-mile rail project.

The bids are due in March 2018 and the OCTA board is expected to award the construction contract in April. If final approvals and funding are in place, construction should begin in fall 2018 with operations starting in late 2020.

Route of the OC Streetcar (OCTA).

Under the plan, the streetcar will operate from the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center along Santa Ana Boulevard and Fourth Street, then turn northwest along the old Pacific Electric right-of-way to Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove, just north of Westminster Avenue.

The streetcar line would operate six cars at a time, serving 10 stations along the route, including a new transportation facility on Harbor. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $299 million, with funding coming from Measure M – Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation – and both state and federal sources.

Fifty million dollars was included in the federal 2017-18 budget and the Federal Transportation Authority is considering a grant agreement to pay for about half the cost of the project.

At the same time, the OCTA is studying transit needs along the Harbor Corridor, which could eventually result in the streetcar line being extended along that busy thoroughfare.

Categories: Orange County

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