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SFMTA light-rail facility wins national public works award


The American Public Works Association (APWA) recently selected the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) Muni Metro East Light Rail Vehicle Maintenance and Operations Facility (MME) as a Public Works Project of the Year for 2009.

Sharing the honor with SFMTA are Stacy and Witbeck Inc. and Gannett Fleming Inc., the primary contractor and project consultant, respectively.

APWA recognizes select U.S. projects for the award, which will be presented in a ceremony at the 2009 International Public Works Congress and Exposition to be held in Columbus, Ohio, in September.
SFMTA officials believe the 40-foot-high, 180,000-square-foot, multi-tiered MME will boost system reliability by enabling crews to perform daily train servicing, preventive maintenance, running repair and heavy repair functions. The facility features a paved storage yard with 15 storage tracks that can accommodate up to 80 trains, as well as various support shops and a 16,000-square-foot storeroom.

But budget challenges have prevented SFMTA from bringing the facility, which opened in September 2008, completely online. More than 60 positions SFMTA planned to fill are on hold because of declining revenues this fiscal year and the agency’s $130 million budget deficit for FY2010, which begins on July 1. Meanwhile, the state of California earlier this year “essentially abandoned its commitment to fund transit operations” for at least the next five years, resulting in a $43 million loss to the SFMTA’s operating budget, according to a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/17/2009