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First streetcar en route to Tucson
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First streetcar en route to Tucson

After much delay, the first of Tucson's new streetcars is on its way from Oregon. The car was loaded on a flat-bed truck in Portland on Monday, and is due to arrive Friday morning. The first of eight streetcars will undergo months of testing before the public will be allowed to climb aboard.

Construction of the 4-mile route between the University of Arizona Medical Center and the west side of Downtown is all but complete, with work to hang overhead electric wires remaining after the final track connection was welded last month.

While track installation took more than 400 days, riders won't jump on the Sun Link streetcar anytime soon. Federal regulations require months of testing the system before opening it to the public.

Also remaining are landscape and paving work at some of the stops along the streetcar route.

Much of the project was funded by a $63 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded in 2010. The project was approved as part of the $2.1 billion Regional Transportation Plan in a 2006 election.

Construction began in April 2012.

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