Construction Expected to Begin in 2018 on Streetcar Through Heart of Orange County
Construction of a roughly $300 million trolley system through the heart of Orange County is slated to get underway this year as officials move forward with long-running plans for the OC Streetcar in Santa Ana and Garden Grove.
Along its 4.15-mile route (in each direction) The streetcars will link the bustling Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center (SARTC), which provides regional rail, OCTA bus, and intercity and international bus services, to a new multimodal hub at Harbor Boulevard/Westminster Avenue in Garden Grove. Along the way, OC Streetcar will connect directly with 18 OCTA bus routes. OC Streetcar will serve the historic downtown Santa Ana and Civic Center which includes government offices, federal, state and local courthouses, unique restaurants and shops, an artists’ village, several schools and a variety of community enrichment organizations.
Along the way, the streetcars will connect Metrolink commuter rail and more than a dozen Orange County Transportation Authority bus routes, including the seven busiest routes in the county.
The OC Streetcar project passed a key benchmark last year when the OCTA approved a full-funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration that it expects federal officials to grant.
The OCTA has put the construction project out to bid and a final award is expected to be announced by the end of July. Prequalified bidders include OHL USA, Shimmick Construction, Skanska, Flatiron West; just to name a few.
OCTA has awarded a $51.5 million contract to Siemens Industry for eight S70 low-floor light rail vehicles for the OC Streetcar project, construction of which is expected to begin later this year.
Actual construction is expected to take at least two years. Along with more than a dozen platforms, the plan also calls for building a new maintenance and storage facility for the streetcars in the Pacific Electric right of way, signaling and signage improvements along the route, as well as new bridges at the Santa Ana River and Westminster Avenue.
The OC streetcars are expected to begin operations in 2020.