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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

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Streetcar System Concept Plan wins excellence award (1/21)

January 21, 2010



Dan Anderson


Streetcar System Concept Plan wins excellence award

The Portland Bureau of Transportation won an award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon on January 13 for the Portland Streetcar System Concept Plan. The 2010 ACEC Oregon Engineering Excellence Honor Award was presented to the PBOT and consultant URS in the category of Studies, Research and Consulting Engineering Services. Accepting the award were the city’s project manager, Patrick Sweeney, and consultant URS’s project manager, Mark Dorn.

“We asked ourselves some basic questions at the beginning of this process: ‘if we were to expand streetcar service, how would streetcar be integrated with the long-range strategy for main streets and neighborhoods? How could streetcar help sustain livability and high transportation standards while preserving the qualities that make our neighborhoods attractive places to live and do business?’“ Sweeney said.

The Streetcar System Concept Plan project identified transit corridors in the City of Portland with the highest potential for streetcars. These corridors will undergo more detailed analysis in the future. According to Metro growth projections, the Portland's population is expected to increase by approximately 175,000 and the region by 1 million in the next 20 years. As the City of Portland prepares for this growth, development opportunities that can take advantage of transit -- such as streetcar -- must be a part of the Portland Plan.

“While we discovered that there are exciting opportunities for expansion, there will be differences between central city streetcar and neighborhood streetcar corridors,” Sweeney said. “Wherever the streetcar goes, we will have to work hard to make sure it’s the right project in the right place.’

As the prime consultant, URS was responsible for project management, transit system planning, land use and transit integration, urban design, economic development feasibility analysis, and conceptual design.

ACEC Oregon is a non-profit organization originally founded in 1956 as the Consulting Engineers Council of Oregon (CECO). In 2002 its name was changed to ACEC Oregon (American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon). ACEC Oregon represents approximately 3,500 employees in Oregon through approximately 100 consulting engineering and surveying firms of all sizes.