Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Streetcar Construction on Grand Avenue

The transition to working at the City has presented a tremendous amount of opportunities to contribute on projects happening "close to home". The Portland Streetcar is one of the most difficult projects because of the range of traffic impacts associated with construction throughout the project and the pace that is anticipated by the Project Team. The primary intent with the expedited schedule is to control costs and to reduce business impacts which are laudable goals.
The first two photos here were shot the first week in February outside of Metro's office building, literally two days after they began construction. The last photo was taken less than two weeks later and shows the concrete slab with the rails completely in place in this section of the project. I have heard that the intent is to be in and out of a block within four weeks. At this pace, it appears that it's possible given that the crews are able to work during the peak hours of traffic.
We're working on the traffic impacts and exploring ways we can reduce the adverse impacts of the construction. One of the strategies we've undertaken is to install six cameras that can be used to monitor conditions along the corridor. The cameras will allow us to visually identify the positive effects of the signal timing changes we implement on the corridor. It would be advantageous if we had the ability to implement Media Access Control (MAC) readers to measure the actual performance on the street system.
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