New Orleans' New Streetcar Line Nearly Ready

Should be rolling in time for Super Bowl

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jan 19, 2013 12:56 PM CST

(Newser) – After months of construction, road closures and flying dust, New Orleans is about ready to open its new streetcar line near the Superdome—just in time for the Super Bowl. A formal opening ceremony is planned for Jan. 28. That's when teams will likely arrive and out-of-state visitors are expected to start heading to New Orleans for the Feb. 3 game. For months, crews have been working to lay streetcar tracks through one of the business district's busiest corridors to connect by trolley the French Quarter and the Superdome.

Funding for the new streetcar line came from a $45 million federal transportation grant, but the project ran over budget and behind schedule. The New Orleans RTA pegs the total cost at about $52 million after a number of delays, including the relocation of power and utilities when workers found a petrified cypress log and an old underground ice house no one knew existed.

In this Nov. 8 photo, construction continues on tracks on Loyola Avenue in New Orleans.
In this Nov. 8 photo, construction continues on tracks on Loyola Avenue in New Orleans.   (Gerald Herbert)
In this Nov. 8 photo, construction on tracks on Loyola Avenue in New Orleans continues.
In this Nov. 8 photo, construction on tracks on Loyola Avenue in New Orleans continues.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
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