Groundbreaking for OKC Streetcar
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
Tuesday work got underway for a modern streetcar that would run through downtown and Bricktown.
"We were so excited we've been in Bricktown for 10 years and we've watched it grow and the streetcar is just going to be one more thing to make it even better,” Business Owner Becky Chapman said.
Chapman owns the Melting Pot Fondue restaurant on Sheridan. She says the parking struggle is constant.
"Not a weekend goes by where we don't get a comment about parking. So we're really excited that this is going to be one more way that guests can get to our restaurant and get into Bricktown and enjoy their evening,” Chapman said.
Tuesday a groundbreaking was held for the 130 million dollar project. It is being funded by the Maps 3 program, the one cent limited term sales tax passed by voters. The program is only used for city improvements.
"The streetcar will catalyze a regional transit system that will tie in with different modes of transit, from the bus system, bus traffic transit and eventually commuter rail,” said Nathaniel Harding, Chairman of the Maps 3 Streetcar Subcommittee.
The OKC Streetcar would run on a track that's flush to the street. The planned route will run past the Myriad Gardens, Chesapeake Arena, and Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The rail would also run north up to the midtown area on NW 11th street.
While there will be some lane closures during construction city leaders say this new transportation will transform downtown.
"It's just going to do nothing but help our business and we're so proud of Oklahoma City and the citizens for you know having MAPS 3 and just the development and building that's happening in the city,” Chapman said.
We're told the first streetcar will arrive in Oklahoma City this June. The full rail system is expected to launch in December of 2018. To keep up with traffic alerts for this project click here.