S Line (formerly Sugar House Streetcar)
Planning for the S Line began in 2006 with the identification of a streetcar route through Utah Transit Authority (UTA) right-of-way. The route serves the community's mobility and economic development goals of connecting the Sugar House Business District, a thriving commercial center in Salt Lake City, to the regional TRAX light rail system. In 2009, we completed a financial feasibility study, documenting the costs and benefits of the selected alternative in accordance with the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA's) standards for New Starts/Small Starts. The financial plan analyzed both traditional and alternative forms of financing.
Following the feasibility study, a NEPA-compliant environmental assessment (EA) was conducted in 2010. We managed the public involvement process and efficiently worked through FTA's environmental approval process. This was an important step in the successful application for a TIGER II grant, resulting in $26 million of funding for the project – one of a few large TIGER II grants given to proposed transportation projects across the country. The EA culminated in the FTA issuing a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in February 2011.
Phase 1 of the S Line is two miles in length, with seven stops and service every 20 minutes. The project has been financed through a combination of local and federal TIGER grant funding.
UTA selected us to provide preliminary engineering and final design services for the locally preferred alternative. We are the lead designer for the track work, structures, drainage, utility relocations, stations, street reconstruction and at-grade crossings. The preliminary engineering notice to proceed was provided in August 2011 with a very aggressive schedule to complete final design by August 2012.
Our team completed both the preliminary engineering and final design on schedule while working with a contractor that was procured in February 2012. The project was constructed via a construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) contract. Soon after the CM/GC was selected, we began providing early work packages for the contractor to begin constructing the project to help meet the required December 2013 completion date, per the TIGER grant. Our work included responding to requests for information (RFIs) and issuing notice of design changes (NDCs) during the construction phase. We were also responsible for preparing as-builts for UTA after construction was completed. Construction began in April 2012.
In December 2013, the S Line opened, connecting the cities of South Salt Lake and Salt Lake City. The streetcar has been a catalyst for nearly $1 billion in development along the S Line corridor.
We continue our work with Salt Lake City and UTA by evaluating the Phase 2 extension of the S Line to reach the heart of the Sugar House Business District. This project includes traffic analysis, a categorical exclusion and preliminary engineering.