Consultants on Wednesday offered four alternatives for running a proposed $94 million streetcar system through downtown Oklahoma City.
All four routes would connect MidTown and the St. Anthony Hospital neighborhood on the northwest side of downtown with the Bricktown entertainment and residential district on the southeast.
An open house for the public to review the proposals will be July 15 at the Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.
Learn more about the proposed streetcar routes at www.okc.gov/maps3.
Known as a modern streetcar, the vehicles would run on rails embedded in the streets and share downtown thoroughfares with cars.
It's expected overhead wires would be installed along most of the route to supply the streetcars with electricity.
Consultants evaluated alternatives for serving MidTown, Bricktown, the Downtown Transit Center, the proposed downtown “Core to Shore” park, the proposed convention center, the planned transit center in the old Santa Fe railroad depot, and Automobile Alley.
Integrating with the bus system and maximizing economic development were key criteria.
“You definitely want to see a development response to it,” said Rick Gustafson of Shiels Obletz Johnsen, a consulting firm in Portland, Ore.
One alternative would run streetcars through downtown on Broadway and Robinson Avenue.
Others would push streetcars a few blocks west for part of the way, providing a connection to the Downtown Transit Center.
Two alignments that would bring riders in one case to the park and in another to within one block came in on the high end of the cost estimates, with price tags of $97 million to $109 million.
A plan labeled Zeta Plus would connect all seven of the preferred destinations with 4.4 miles of track. Other alternatives ranged from 4 to 4.6 miles in length.
MAPS 3 plan
The proposed transit improvements are part of the $777 million MAPS 3 building program funded by a penny sales tax.
Phase 1 of the streetcar project is to link MidTown, downtown and Bricktown, at a cost of $94.4 million for the rails and $9.75 million for the remodeled railroad depot.
Phase 2 would run streetcars from downtown through the Deep Deuce neighborhood.
Rails eventually could skirt the Lower JFK neighborhood on the way to the Oklahoma Health Center.