Modern streetcar project moving full speed ahead
Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - Designs are almost done for Tucson's new Modern Streetcar, with construction set to start in January 2012. While the project is now moving full speed ahead, it's the stops that might be grabbing more attention. Seventeen stops will display works of art from local artists. From interactive light displays to sculpture gardens, city leaders hope the new mode of transportation will stand out from the rest.
But, before the artistry, there will be a year's worth of construction. It's something that's bound to bring downtown businesses hurdles before bringing hoards of passengers.
"If they have to close down a business to put track in front of it, it could be a deficit, a problem," said Pete Simon, a Tucson resident.
9 On Your Side reporter Jessica Chapin asked project manager Shellie Ginn how long they'd be impacted.
"Potentially about 3 months for 3 blocks is kind of what we're averaging but it could be more, it could be less depending on the area," she said, "We've been working with the businesses for a couple years now trying to notify them that they'll be having a little bit of disruption. We're going to work with them through construction and try to minimize the disruptions as much as possible."
Residents say if done right, the year-long road to a streetcar will be worth the wait.
"If it's done right to perfection it could really improve the inner city's image on a national scale," said Simon.
City leaders hope to start project bidding this Fall. Their goal is to have the system up and running by March 2013.