OC Streetcar Project Verified Envision® Silver by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure


The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure announced today that the OC Streetcar project, managed by the Orange County Transportation Authority along with HDR as project management consultant, recently earned an Envision Silver rating for sustainable infrastructure. This is the 15th Envision verified project in the state, and the first modern streetcar project in California to receive Envision recognition.

The project helps OCTA and the cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove reach their goals to increase transportation options and improve transit connectivity. The $407.7 million project, which is expected to begin operation in 2022, will operate along a 4.15-mile route that connects the bustling Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center — providing regional rail, OCTA bus, and intercity and international bus services — to a new multimodal hub at Harbor Boulevard/Westminster Avenue in Garden Grove.

The project is being constructed and will be funded primarily through a combination of local, state and federal funds, including California Climate Investments and the Federal Transit Administration. The project recently received a $149 million Full Funding Grant Agreement from the FTA ― the first modern streetcar to receive a New Starts FFGA and the largest ever New Starts commitment to a streetcar project.

Using the Envision framework helped the project support sustainability and environmental commitments for the funding agencies, including measures to mitigate environmental impacts; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; provide benefits to disadvantaged communities; and drive economic, environmental and public health benefits.

Developed as a collaboration between OCTA and the cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove, the project is anticipated to play an important role in improving transit accessibility for transit-dependent residents and relieving congestion at major streets and local freeways by providing east-west connections. Designed with input from across the community, OCTA is working numerous consultants, including HDR, program manager and Envision facilitator, and designer HNTB.

The Envision sustainable infrastructure rating system assesses sustainability in five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Natural World, Resource Allocation, and Climate and Resilience. These contribute to positive social, economic and environmental impacts on a community during the planning, design and construction of infrastructure projects.

“The result that OCTA has achieved relative to the award of this largest ever New Starts commitment for a modern streetcar is another testament to HDR’s leadership and expertise in the federal funding arena, and demonstrates, once again, why clients across North America value HDR as their trusted advisor and partner,” said Tom Waldron, HDR’s global transit director.

“HDR’s work to help OCTA refine the scope, schedule and budget during project development were key to submitting a competitive project as demonstrated by the medium-high rating in the New Starts process,” adds Mark McLaren, HDR’s program manager on the 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, the Government Center Station renovation design in Boston, the Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study in Toronto and consulting on every phase of the new Kansas City Modern Streetcar. In addition to planning and engineering, our experts help clients with strategic public engagement and program/project controls.

About HDR
For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.