Final weld signals the end of track construction for streetcar

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The final weld for the modern streetcar track was made just a short while ago.  It signals the end to construction, and some good news for downtown businesses.

Construction on the streetcar track began in March 2012, about 450 days ago.  But for many folks in the downtown area it seems like a lifetime ago.

Workers used a clay pot to make the final weld, it is used to heat the track to make the weld, and in this case connect the east and west sections of the nearly four-mile long track.

Not only does this weld signify the connection, but also the end of construction activities and the barricades, which have populated downtown for more than a year and caused headaches for motorists, will soon be gone.

Crews will still be working in the area, the 21 stops along the route are nearly finished – at 95 percent complete, but overhead electrical wire is only half-way finished.

The nearly $200 million project has taken years from conception to completion, but for city leaders and business people downtown this is a significant day.

Now all that is left is for the streetcar to go on the tracks, and those should be here by late August.  The delivery is six months behind and all eight of the cars must be here before they can start carrying passengers.  That could happen by summer 2014.

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