Tucsonans tell streetcar construction officials: "Hurry up!"

Liz Kotalik

Tucsonans tell streetcar construction officials: "Hurry up!"

CREATED Aug. 22, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a project that's cost us taxpayers tens of millions already, but those streetcar tracks are still empty.

The city hopes it'll reduce carbon dioxide emissions and bring you to local businesses, but where is that streetcar?

"We've been waiting for...what seems like ages," said one woman on Fourth Avenue.

"It's frustrating for students, when we're waiting for something that could be so helpful," said another.

But, we're not there quite yet.

"We're really just getting to the tail end of the job," Joe Chase, the streetcar construction manager, told Nine On Your Side.

He said the work in the city is almost finished.

The workers are installing wiring that should be done next month, and traffic signals are almost all up.

But as for that streetcar?

"The streetcar's coming," Chase told us. "Right now they're in the final testing."

Testing in Portland, Oregon that should have been completed by now, but the city said they want to make sure the streetcar is absolutely perfect before bringing it home.

They told us it will be here by the end of October, but there are seven other cars we have to wait for and test before we can hop on for a ride.

But hey! At least the street car's stops look pretty!

Workers installed a mosaic and a sculpture at two of the waiting stations, beginning an over $750,000 art installation project.

The city told us that art is an integral part of the construction process, and they've been planning on adding it since the beginning.

But blinged out or not, Tucsonans just want this project to be over.

"I agree completely," Case said, "and I'm hurrying as fast as I can. Believe me, nobody wants this job to be completed as soon as possible as myself."

The final road paving will start on Sunday night and go through Thursday.

The city said to expect delays downtown at night during that time, and also that we can expect to get on a streetcar in about a year.

 

 

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