Orange County streetcar enters final design phase

RELATED TOPICS: WEST | CALIFORNIA | GRANTS | LIGHT RAIL
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SANTA ANA, Calif. — Federal officials are giving the go ahead to the Orange County Transportation Authority to enter into a final design phase for its new modern streetcar system. With the Federal Transit Administration’s approval, project leaders can begin the engineering phase for the $298-million project.

The engineering phase is the last step before the agency can seek a grant from the FTA. If approved, grant money could pay for up to half of the project.

The project has already received support from the federal government when $125 million was allocated through President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget.

Other partners are also on board with the streetcar initiative, including the state of California, which has earmarked more than $25 million toward the project. An Orange County-administered half-cent sales tax measure has also been implemented for transportation improvements.

Current projections estimate that construction will begin in 2018 with the start of testing and operations planned for 2020.

When completed, the Orange County Streetcar will operate 4.1-miles from the Santa Ana train station toward Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove.

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