SunRail is Open to the Public
Five SunRail trains began service yesterday morning running from DeBary to south Orlando - 12 stations along the 32 mile track. The Florida Department of Transportation is giving the public free transportation on the new line through May 16th. FDOT hopes the draw of the new service will persuade commuters into choosing rail over traffic congestion on I-4.
FDOT hoped to draw 12,000 people on first day as the Wi-Fi friendly trains continue making stops until 10:11 p.m. when the final Northbound train hits its last stop at DeBary.
The project has been many years in the making. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer fought hard to bring commuter rail to the Orlando area citizens. SunRail was voted and approved by Florida elected officials in 2007 however construction did not begin until 2011. The local community, state, and Federal Government helped fund the project. Half the project came from a federal grant, a quarter came from the state, and the other other quarter came from counties and cities the line serves.
The $168.1M design-build-maintain (DBM) contract is the first phase of a $1.2-billion Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit (CFCRT) project. The Archer Western portion of the A/W-Railworks joint venture consisted of construction, testing and commissioning of 32 miles of commuter rail service between Ft. Florida Road and Sand Lake Road along the CSXT right of way in the Orlando area to include earthwork, CIP and PC reinforced concrete, station construction and railroad bridge work. The project included reconstructing more than 70 of the section's 96 grade crossings, installing 18 miles of double-tracking and building platforms for a dozen stations. Work also called for an overhaul of existing signal and dispatch systems.
Archer Western was also awarded a separate $27M Station Finishes contract for seven of the twelve CFCRT Sunrail stations from Debary to Orlando Health to go along with the construction of the CFCRT Sunrail DBM project. Work included parking areas and roadwork at four stations, canopy installation, landscape and hardscape, electrical and ITS, CCTV, passenger assistance telephones, audio visual systems and integration of the passenger systems from each station platform to the Operations Control Center (OCC) at the Vehicle Maintenance and Storage Facility (VMSF) in Sanford.
Phase 2, which is set to bid later this year, will add another 31 miles, with SunRail then running from Deltona all the way south to Poinciana in Osceola County. The project goal is to be completed by 2016.
To read more about SunRail, Click Here.