March 2013 -- The City’s Department of Public Works has contracted with the engineering and planning team of HNTB and HDR to provide final design services for Milwaukee's modern streetcar. This next phase will take the project to 60% of final design and will in part include intensive utility coordination and design of track alignment, streetcar stops and system operations. The project team led by HNTB and HDR combines significant streetcar design expertise around the country with long-time local project knowledge and national transportation planning experience. HNTB has managed the preliminary phases of The Milwaukee Streetcar project through preliminary engineering and environmental assessment. HDR brings experience as the final designer for systems that include the Salt Lake City Sugar House Streetcar, Dallas Streetcar and Kansas City Streetcar, as well as related work for the Tucson Streetcar and the D.C. Streetcar. Final design will in part include public and private utility coordination; streetcar track zone, systems and stops designs; construction planning; operations and maintenance facility design; traffic analysis; civil and value engineering; public outreach and community relations; and more. The team expects to advance project planning from its current 30% design to 60% design by the end of the summer. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, with initial operation planned for 2016. A key part of the final design process includes detailed examination of existing underground utility facilities along the route; an analysis of likely impacts on facilities and their current condition, age and pending maintenance needs; ways to mitigate potential relocations costs and the need for relocations; and cost for necessary utility relocations.
January 2013 -- In December 2012, the federal government formally awarded the City of Milwaukee the $51.9 million federal grant for development of the streetcar. The City is finalizing selection of an engineering team for the next phase of design of the streetcar system. The firm will be initially tasked with completing 60% design by summer 2013 and completing design in early 2014. Concurrently, City officials continue to work with utility companies to minimize the streetcar's impacts. At the same time, the City and utility companies are presenting their cases related to who is responsible for paying the costs of utility relocations for the project to the Public Service Commission. The current streetcar project schedule shows construction beginning in 2014 with system testing and operations in 2016. (The implementation schedule is subject to change pending establishment of the final alignment and completion of 60% designs.)
October 30, 2012 -- Commissioner of Public Works Ghassan Korban and City Engineer Jeff Polenske provided a project briefing at “The Milwaukee Streetcar: Facts and Future” event hosted by The Pabst Theater. Approximately 80 people attended the event to learn more about the streetcar project’s purpose, need, look and status. After the presentation, the Commissioner and the City Engineer opened the floor to the attendees and responded to many great questions about the project. Listen to coverage at http://www.radiomilwaukee.org/stories/transportation/milwaukee-streetcar-public-forum.
October 2012: The Department of Public Works announced it is soliciting a Request for Qualifications to provide professional services for The Milwaukee Streetcar Project Final Design. Moving into the next phase of design will allow the City to get much more detailed and accurate information about the Streetcar alignment, potential conflicts and costs of the proposed system. One of the major concerns raised in the last phase of design was the cost of improving or relocating utilities located within the City right-of-way and the possibility of altering the route to minimize those conflicts. All those issues will be addressed in the final design phase.
September 25, 2012: The City invited Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) to participate in a discussion surrounding the DBE goal-setting process for The Milwaukee Streetcar project. The Streetcar project will create opportunities during and after system construction for DBEs. The DBE goal-setting process is a requirement of the Federal Transportation Authority (FTA) and participation by local DBE firms will help create a stronger and more feasible DBE participation program.
May 2012: The City has contracted with an Owner’s Representative team. The Concord Group and its partners will assist the City of Milwaukee in the management of the Streetcar project during design and possibly through the opening of the system. This will include assistance in the selection of the final design team, procurement of vehicles, coordination with local utilities, assistance in the selection of contractors and the opening of the Streetcar system.