Tucson Streetcar prepared for the monsoon? - Tucson News Now

Tucson Streetcar prepared for the monsoon?

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - We see what the monsoon can do to our cars when we try to drive through flooded roads, but what about when the monsoon hits the new modern streetcar?

We saw heavy rain, lightning and even some strong winds in Tucson Tuesday. All those weather factors present potential problems for the Tucson Modern Streetcar and workers said they are working to make sure they are ready to deal with them.

Just as the streetcar is scheduled to start picking up passengers July 25, workers are checking the streetcar to ensure it does not get stranded by flooding when it rains hard.

Workers are paying close attention to underpasses like the 4th Avenue underpass which connects midtown and downtown and where the streetcar operates through.

SunLink General Manager, Steve Brethel, said the underpasses have drainage and systems to pump out water. However, workers will still have to look out for debris that could clog the system and cause it to flood.

In just the past couple days, lightning has struck overheard streetcar power lines causing damage and partial streetcar service shutdowns during its training period. If you might be worried about your safety while riding the streetcar during lightning storms, Bethel said each car has strong circuit breakers to keep people safe on board.

Despite the precautions if storms get real bad streetcar service may be halted, according to Bethel.

“There is a point where we would have to stop service if the rain would puddle up in places where it would exceed 6-8 inches or where it would cover the tracks to the point where we couldn’t see the switches at that point.” Bethel said Tuesday. “We’d have to stop service and put together bus bridging and have passengers move along the alignment vehicle bus bridge.”

Field supervisors would also be used to watch out for any possible dangers along the route during storms, according to Bethel.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
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