Our weekly “New Starts” roundup of new and newsworthy transportation projects worldwide.
$5 Million Grant Wraps Up Funding for New Orleans Ferry Terminal
New Orleans’ Canal Street ferry terminal, the place where residents and visitors can catch a ride to the city’s Algiers section on the west bank of the Mississippi River, is that much closer to getting a total makeover thanks to a $5 million federal grant, The Advocate of Baton Rouge reports.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to the New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority comes on top of a previous $10 million award for the facility. RTA Board Chairman Salvador Longoria said the additional $5 million “completes the funding” for the project, on which preliminary work is already under way.
The new, 10,000-square-foot facility will be an energy-efficient multimodal transportation facility that will offer easier connections to local transit, with bus bays and connections to the Riverfront streetcar line. The new terminal will also allow the city to redesign its waterfront site to better connect the Outlet Connection at Riverwalk on one side of the terminal and Woldenberg Park on the other.
Longoria said the project is on schedule for completion by the city’s 300th anniversary in 2018.
Two More Sydney Metro Tunnels in the Works
With Australia’s first metro line on track for a scheduled 2019 opening, Transport for New South Wales has begun the bidding process for the project’s second phase, which includes two 15.5-km (9.6-mile) tunnels under Sydney Harbor and the Sydney central business district.
Construction takes place on Sydney's first metro line. (Credit: Transport for New South Wales)
A Global Rail News article describes the Sydney Metro City & Southwest line as the second stage of “Australia’s biggest public transport project.” The first phase, Sydney Metro Northwest, also includes a twin-bore subway tunnel. Those tunnels, which run from the northwest suburb of Bella Vista to Epping, were completed in January; the tunnels, Australia’s longest railway tunnels at 15 km (9.3 miles), will be surpassed in length by the new Sydney Harbor/CBD tunnels.
The Sydney Metro Northwest line uses an existing railroad right of way from Chatsworth to Epping and a new, mostly underground alignment from Epping to Cudegong Road; the above-ground portion beyond Bella Vista includes a 4-km (2.5-mile) elevated segment with a dramatic cable-stayed bridge over a major highway at Rouse Hill. Railway Gazette International reports that the City & Southwest line will be 30 km (18.6 miles) long, including the tunnel from Chatsworth to Sydenham and 13.4 km (8.3 miles) of existing railway that will be rebuilt to metro standards.
Transport for NSW expects to award the contract for the City & Southwest line in mid-2017. Tunneling is set to begin by the end of 2018, and the new line should open in 2024.
Eglinton Crosstown Line Could Head to Scarborough by 2021
Even though Mayor Rob Ford’s Scarborough constituents didn’t want it, light rail could be coming to the northeast Toronto district along with the projected 2021 opening of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line, now under construction.
A rendering of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT (Credit: Metrolinx)
A Scarborough Mirror report on InsideToronto.com states that Toronto City Councillor Joe Mihevc has directed city staff to make plans for completing two further extensions of the Crosstown “by 2021, if at all possible.”
The easterly extension would take the line from its current planned terminus at Kennedy station on the Bloor-Danforth subway to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. While project senior staff had told a public meeting in February that an eastern extension would take eight years to complete, Mihevc said that as the routes would be all-surface, there’s no reason why the extensions could not be opened at the same time as the Crosstown line itself.
UTSC’s campus expansion plans are focused on a light-rail line being extended there. Two earlier proposals to extend light rail were both stymied, one in 2009 by the Province of Ontario and a second in 2010 when Mayor Rob Ford axed the “Transit City” LRT proposal in favor of a subway extension that is still being debated.
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The Works is made possible with the support of the Surdna Foundation.
Next City contributor Sandy Smith is the home and real estate editor at Philadelphia magazine. Over the years, his work has appeared in Hidden City Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer and other local and regional publications. His interest in cities stretches back to his youth in Kansas City, and his career in journalism and media relations extends back that far as well.