Downtown Kansas City Streetcar Wins ENR Regional Best Project Award

Engineering News-Record Midwest named Kansas City Streetcar the "2016 Best Project" in the Airport/Transit category. HDR accepted the award with the city of Kansas City during ENR Midwest's Best Projects event in Chicago. Judges evaluated nearly 100 projects completed in 2016 in nine Midwestern states. Criteria included collaboration and demonstrated the ability to overcome challenges, safety performance, innovative design, contribution to community and the industry, construction quality and craftsmanship, and function and aesthetic qualities of each project’s design.

HDR served as the design team leader for Kansas City's $102 million project, which is the first Envision-certified sustainable transit project in the world. With a large portion of its funding approved by voters in December 2012, the streetcar is also one of the most fast-paced federally-funded streetcar projects ever delivered.

"This award speaks to the city’s commitment at each and every stage of the project — the energy that propelled it was truly unique," said Tom Waldron, HDR transit director. "There has been overwhelming support and collaboration, and it's been a privilege to work with such engaged partners to create this very smart solution."

The city also advanced Smart City elements, such as kiosks at KC Streetcar platforms and throughout downtown. The interactive kiosks allow travelers to check the status and arrival time of the next streetcar. They also offer access to city services and display information about local restaurants, activities and events.

Since the 2-mile streetcar opened in May 2016, its popularity has more than doubled initial projections with an average daily ridership of more than 6,000 passengers recorded in November. Business owners and developers have enthusiastically embraced the streetcar as the corridor has seen roughly $1.8 billion in related development and economic activity since it was approved in 2012.

Among the project’s aesthetic signatures is its iconic "picture frame" design at 13 transit stations. "The picture frame concept was born out of a series of workshops our architects led with staff from the city, Kansas City Streetcar Authority and key stakeholders," HDR project manager Luke Olson said. "It’s yet another example of the strong partnerships that have breathed so much life into this project."

About HDR's Transit Experience

Because transit is not one size fits all, we help clients with everything from navigating the Fast Act and other funding alternatives, to managing program development and design, to providing construction management for new and established systems. Our wide-ranging portfolio includes managing the San Diego Mid-Coast Corridor Transit project, designing the Government Center Station renovation in Boston, driving the Downtown Relief Line Transit Study in Toronto and leading program development for the multi-modal transformation of LA Metro’s iconic Union Station complex. In addition to planning and engineering, our experts help clients with strategic funding, economic analysis, public engagement, real estate services, program/project controls, risk management and operations and maintenance.

About HDR

HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what's possible since 1917. We specialize in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services. With nearly 10,000 employees in more than 225 locations around the world, we think global and act local.