The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) of New Orleans has awarded a contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for construction management services for the expansion of the city's streetcar system. In 2010, the RTA received a $45 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build a streetcar loop on Loyola Avenue from Canal Street to the Union Passenger Terminal (UPT), a 1.4-mile route through the central business district. RTA subsequently sold approximately $80 million in revenue bonds in 2010 to fund the French Quarter Loop Streetcar expansion as well.
Parsons Brinckerhoff will serve as the RTA's construction manager for the three-phase expansion project – Loyola Avenue from Canal Street to UPT (phase 1); the French Quarter Loop expansion (phase 2, based on budget availability); and the Riverfront/Convention Center expansion (phase 3). The Parsons Brinckerhoff team will be responsible for providing construction management and support staff throughout the construction and close-out phases. The firm will also monitor and control project schedule and budget. Construction on the first phase of the streetcar expansion will begin in August 2011, with completion slated for June 2012.
Parsons Brinckerhoff has a history of working with RTA on the New Orleans streetcar program, which included renovations to the historic St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line in the 1980s and design of the Canal Street Streetcar system, which brought streetcars back to Canal Street in 2004 after a 40-year absence.