Streetcar Chronicles


Tempe Streetcar will serve one of the highest transit ridership centers in the region and will connect riders to neighborhoods, major business centers and regional events and destinations (like Downtown Tempe!). Streetcar chronicles is a brief glimpse at the people, places, and spaces involved with building the Tempe Streetcar in Downtown Tempe.

August 6, 2019

Meet the Crew


  Travis Pettera, Foreman

Travis Pettera has been in construction for 20 years. He takes pride in his work and he's been involved in 5 different Valley Metro rail projects. When he's not working on the Tempe Streetcar project, he loves playing ice hockey.

It's Not All Work


 

U.S. Representative Greg Stanton paid a visit to downtown Tempe on Hard Hat Thursday last week. After picking up his hard hat at DTA, he visited with local business owners including Berekk Blackwell from Daily Jam (home of the Best Waffles in Arizona according to the Food Network) and Mark Rogers and Jarrod Bailey from Escape Zone

Did You Know?


For the Tempe Streetcar project, approximately 16,000 tons of asphalt will be placed. That's 32 million pounds of asphalt.

African elephants weigh 6 tons on average. The amount of asphalt that will be poured is equal to 2,667 elephants!

 

July 22, 2019

Meet the Crew


  Sam Barlow, Cement Mason

Sam Barlow has been working in construction for 5 years. When asked about an interesting fact that he wants people to know about the streetcar project, he said before the concrete sets in the railroad tracks, it can actually shift as they are working so you have to continue to check measurements between the rails. For fun, when he's not working, he spends time with his wife as she spends all his hard-earned money. :-) 

 

It's Not All Work


 

Nine downtown Tempe merchants got together (Escape Zone, Daily Jam, Snakes & Lattes, Spinelli's Pizza, Lotions & Potions, Cactus Sports, 414 Pub &Pizza, Candy Addict, The Flow Shop) to create the Local Business Streetcar Tour at the Escape Zone on Mill Avenue. While spending time in the Rush Hour escape room (yes, it's a train!), visitors will be able to explore the local businesses along the new streetcar route. Whether you escape the room or not, you'll receive a prize package valued at over $30! Book your group tour, offered daily from 10 am - 10 pm through August 15. 

 

Talk the #TempeStreetcar Talk


What's the difference between the streetcar and light rail? Modern streetcars are different than the light rail.

Lesson 4: Powering the streetcar 

For most of the 3 mile route of the streetcar, the streetcar vehicle will be powered by hybrid battery with overhead wires and catenary poles (a catenary is a system of overhead wires that supplies electricity to the streetcar). However, on Mill Avenue between University Drive and Rio Salado Parkway, the streetcar will be off-wire and will be powered entirely by battery. This will keep the tree canopies on historic Mill Avenue intact and the sidewalks free of the poles that support the catenary system. 

 

Did You Know?


In less than 30 days, construction crews poured 875 cubic yards of concrete and installed 9,500 feet of conduit on Mill Avenue.

How much concrete is that? 

1 cubic yard of concrete covers 81 square feet of a 4 inch sidewalk, so 1 cubic yard of concrete will place 10 feet of sidewalk at 8 feet wide. 825 cubic yards of concrete X 10 feet = 8,250 feet of sidewalk at 8 feet wide. That is 1.5 miles of sidewalk!

 

July 8, 2019

Meet the Crew


  Jay Nguyen, Safety Engineer

Jay Nguyen has been working in construction for three years and works to make sure the streetcar construction site is safe for all workers and the environment in general. His safety skills such as his knowledge of CPR & First Aid help him in his day-to-day life. They come in handy because in his spare time, he enjoys fishing, fitness and is a big foodie. 

It's Not All Work


 

Tempe Young Professionals got into the groove for Hard Hat Thursday in June by holding their monthly networking mixer on Thursday, June 20 at Trumbull's Tempe on Mill Avenue and listening to Tempe music icon, Walt Richardson. 

 

Talk the #TempeStreetcar Talk


What's the difference between the streetcar and light rail? Modern streetcars are different than the light rail.

Lesson 3 - the stops:

There will be 14 sheltered stops along the 3 mile route with 2 light rail connections, one at 3rd & Mill and the other at Dorsey Lane. Each stop will feature public art to reflect the surrounding neighborhood. The streetcar vehicle will stop at each stop for passenger drop-off/pick-up, but the time at the stop will be a much shorter time period (+/- 30 seconds) than the light rail train takes at the light rail station. There will be a total of 7 stops in the downtown district.

 

Did You Know?


In less than 30 days, the construction crews have installed 2,670 Track Feet (5,340 Linear Feet of Rail) and 82,418 pounds of rebar.

The streetcar will be powered entirely by battery power as it moves northbound up Mill Avenue between University Drive and Rio Salado Parkway.

 

 

June 24, 2019

Meet the Crew


  Trae Ripplinger, Project Superintendent

Trae has been in the construction industry for 15 years. As a project superintendent, he oversees every facet of the work including supervising over 100 craft people, controlling and maintaining the project schedule, all while troubleshooting and resolving issues as they occur. When he's not out working on Mill Avenue, he hits the trails in his side-by-side or spends quiet time by the pool. 

 

It's Not All Work


   

When we asked the Tempe Police Department to help us out with photos to promote Hard Hat Thursdays, they responded in full force early one morning. Not only did members of the downtown Bike Patrol volunteer, they were joined by motorcycle patrol and mounted units. Meet LEO on the left (short for Law Enforcement Officer, named by the Tempe community) and on the right, Titan. LEO's hard hat required cutting a hole for his ear while Titan preferred the jaunty "balance between my ears" fashion-forward approach.

 

Talk the #TempeStreetcar Talk


What's the difference between the streetcar and light rail? Modern streetcars are different than the light rail. Lesson 2 - The Vehicle:

Streetcar vehicles are smaller than light rail vehicles and operate individually, not linked together like a train.

The Tempe Streetcar vehicles are being built by Brookville Equipment Corporation. Brookville is a Pennsylvania-based transportation vehicle manufacturer and are the only maker of streetcars to design and manufacture exclusively in the United States.

One streetcar vehicle will be able to accommodate approximately 125 passengers. 

 

Did You Know?


Random acts of kindness happen every day on the streets of downtown Tempe. The Safety Patrol, Ground Support and Parking Compliance Teams are handing out gift cards to unsuspecting guests on the street to thank them for supporting downtown businesses during the summer streetcar construction. 

 

June 10, 2019

Meet the Crew


Mario Ramos, Cement Mason

Mario knows concrete. He ought to - he's been in the construction industry for 25 years. He focuses on being accurate and professional as he works his crew to set and pour the rail track for the streetcar. When he's not working on the streetcar project, he enjoys family time, fishing, reading and helping the less fortunate.

 

It's Not All Work


We want people to get a chuckle as they walk on the sidewalks past the construction area(s), so every day we place funny signage out on the sidewalks in downtown. Here's a sample (go ahead and laugh).

 

Talk the #TempeStreetcar Talk


What's the difference between the streetcar and light rail? Modern streetcars are different than the light rail. Lesson 1 - Learn the Lingo:

Call it a streetcar, not a train.

It has stops, not stations (BTW, there are 14 stops).

It has operators, not drivers.

 

Did You Know?


30+ downtown Tempe merchants offer special deals and discounts every Thursday through August 15 - check out Hard Hat Thursdays

Follow @DowntownTempe on Instagram for a chance to win gift cards from participating merchants every week. And the free parking. Did we mention free parking?!

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