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Proposed BR streetcar to run early morning, late nights; more released today

10 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago March 07, 2016 Mar 7, 2016 Monday, March 07 2016 March 07, 2016 11:56 AM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The city released more information about a $100 million proposed streetcar line through Old South Baton Rouge that will connect downtown and LSU. 

The line, called TramLinkBR, has been the topic of a series of meetings as engineers work on an environmental plan ahead of a sizeable project plan and schedule. Construction would not start until 2018 and the city hopes to have the tram running by 2021.

Monday, project coordinators said they envision stops in the downtown area at North Street, Florida Street, North Boulevard, Government/Spain Street and Europe Street; stops on Nicholson Drive at the entrance to the Water Campus, Van Buren, McKinley, Aster and North Stadium Drive with alternate or future stops at Oklahoma and Galvez.

Three operating and maintenance facility sites will be evaluated in the Environmental Assessment, which includes sites off South Boulevard, Garner Street and Oklahoma Street.

Engineers are still trying to determine where to put the tracks within current streets and lanes. City leaders said in a news release, they will also ask for some changes in the areas under the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge and the Nicholson on-ramp to I-10 in Old South Baton Rouge.

The project leaders said they hope to have the tram running seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and later service on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with 15 to 20 minute headways. The current estimated annual cost for this level of service is approximately $4 million.

"The project team will begin a more detailed evaluation of the locally preferred alternative and we look forward to bringing additional information back to the public in early summer for their feedback," Ashley Booth, the HNTB Project Manager, said.

We have placed this current phase on a fast-track so the streetcar project can be in a competitive position for future funding,” Mayor Kip Holden said. “We conducted two land-use planning workshops this week in Old South Baton Rouge and Downtown to get additional public input and to brief residents on how the streetcar project can help spur development and improve movement between Downtown, Old South Baton Rouge and the LSU Campus. I am pleased that the public response has been so positive.”

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