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Rail News: Passenger Rail

FTA conference highlighted Portland streetcar project


The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) first Streetcar Conference showcased the city of Portland’s Moody Avenue reconstruction project in Oregon as an example of how “well-planned and executed” transit projects can serve as a catalyst for economic development, FTA officials announced yesterday.

The two-day conference was held earlier this week to show transportation planners from 11 cities how to best implement federally funded streetcar projects.

The event placed the spotlight on a streetcar project planned by the city of Portland and the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), which used stimulus funds to create dual streetcar tracks, widen Moody Avenue and raise the street 14 feet to link it with a transit bridge that accommodates streetcar, light rail, bus, bicycle and pedestrian traffic, FTA officials said in a prepared statement.

United Streetcar, a Portland-based subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, is manufacturing the streetcars for the project.

“The city of Portland and TriMet have hit a home run with this project and demonstrate the enormous economic benefits transit can deliver to a community,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “Two hundred-fifty people have been put to work converting a site that once was a toxic brownfield into a thriving transportation and business corridor.”

The Moody Avenue project will “unlock” the development of the city’s largest piece of vacant land in the central city, FTA officials added.

With new utilities being installed and transportation connections being built, Moody Avenue will serve the planned development of a 43-acre site owned by Slidell Marine Corp., as well as Oregon Health and Science University’s 18-acre Schnitzler Campus, home to the 480,000-square-foot Collaborative Life Sciences Building, which will incorporate the Moody Avenue light-rail station into its construction and development, they said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/13/2012