Management issues are threatening construction progress of the downtown Atlanta 2.6-mile, $93 million modern streetcar line, according to a consultant hired by the Federal Transit Administration [FTA]. The line is behind schedule and over budget, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. URS Corp., the principal contractor, is seeking $7.2 million in additional construction funding. Officials say the line's opening has been delayed by 12 months to April 2014.
The consulting firm engaged by the FTA to oversee the project, Delon Hampton and Associates of Washington, D.C., recomments that the project partners — MARTA, the city of Atlanta and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District — structure a clear chain of command and improve communications.
Representatives of the partners claim that the project is progressing well and do not agree that communication is poor or that friction exists.
Utility Relocation Cost Dispute
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the city of Atlanta and Georgia Power Co. are disputing who should pay the $2 million cost of relocatiog utility lines to make way for the city's downtown modern streetcar project.
While the company continues to relocate equipment and miles of wires from under Auburn and Edgewood avenues to make way for the streetcar track, authorities in the city and at the utility giant each think the other should pay $2 million cost. The sides are reviewing details of a 1965 franchise agreement to try to find the basis for a settlement.
Georgia Power is just one of 18 utilities that has had to relocate lines, both underground and overhead, for the streetcar project.
The Power company's relocation work is continuing on schedule, despite the payment dispute, and should meet the project schedule. The financial issue will be resolved at a later date.
City to Study Streetcar Extensions
The Creative Loafing in Atlanta site reports that despite the failure of last summer's transportation tax vote, the city is taking steps to expand Atlanta's streetcar network so that it could connect more than just tourists, students, residents, and workers between Centennial Olympic Park and the King Center.
City economic development agency Invest Atlanta's board granted more than $1.4 million to Atlanta Beltline Inc., (the nonprofit that plans and develops the 22-mile loop of parks, trails, and transit), to pay for studies to expand the city's streetcar network to North Avenue and the Beltline's Eastside Trail in the Old Fourth Ward.
The agency also OK'ed funding to study a possible east-west streetcar line along North Avenue, Northside Drive, and Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. The route would offer riders access to MARTA's Bankhead and North Avenue stations.
Studies funded by Invest Atlanta would plan for 1W (red), 1E (green), and part of 2 (blue) streetcar lines on the below map: