Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cincinnati streetcar startup date slips

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The debut of Cincinnati's $110 million, 4.9-mile streetcar line will occur in mid-2015, not in late 2014 as originally planned.

Streetcar supporters said the delay would not damage the project's current momentum, with one prominent backer noting as an example that the city had secured the site for a maintenance facility able to serve the five streetcars needed to protect the service. Cincinnati has purchased a property at 1910 Elm Street, avoiding the contentious need for eminent domain which critics charged was likely, if not unavoidable.

The city expects to finish final contract details with CAF USA for a $20.5 million contract shortly. CAF USA is the U.S. subsidiary of Besain, Spain-based Constucciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles. CAF USA is expected to assemble the streetcars at its Elmira, N.Y., facility. 

City Manager Milton Dohoney has informed the City Council that utility relocation cost issues with Duke Energy Corp. is a remaining issue for the project; Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy has challenged the city's right to exact any payment from the company for relocation work.