DDOT STREETCAR/H STREET BENNING STREET
As the designer of record, SYSTRA developed the design for the 2.3-mile line, maintenance facility, and yard as part of the Facchina/MC Dean design-build team.
Design features includ street running inlaid double tracking within a concrete base, allowing the streetcar vehicles and street vehicles to operate together in mixed traffic without the loss of street parking. Minimalistic 350 single cable catenary wires on thin cantilevers and single wire span wires allow for a non- obtrusive catenary system that blends into the environment and presents little visual impact. Three traction power substations along the alignment provide redundant power and are housed within architecturally pleasing buildings that blend into the community effortlessly and safely.
The Car Barn Maintenance Facility features a state-of-the-art, LEED compliant facility with three tracks to service vehicles, overhead cranes, maintenance pits, mezzanine platforms for servicing overhead equipment, turntables, hoists, and truck servicing equipment, a full back shop for parts/tool storage, benches and work areas for motor and small equipment repair, and full compressed air tool layout and connections within a modern facility utilizing radiant floor heating.
The building also includes a block of administrative office spaces, locker, restroom and shower facilities, and an inviting public space for training and public uses allowing the facility to be a true public asset. The yard allows for storage of 15 streetcar vehicles and provides a carwash facility, wheel truing machine and service bays for interior car cleaning. The entrance to the yard and traffic signals along the route were designed to allow use of vehicle-signal communication to improve time performance and add efficiencies to the signal timing sequence in the presence of streetcar vehicles.
As the initial segment of the eventual 37 mile DC Streetcar network, the alignment begins near the west side on the Anacostia River and travels along Benning Road and H Street and over the Hopscotch bridge to an end station near Washington Union Station. The future extension would extend the line eastward to the Minnesota Avenue Metro Station and beyond westward down H Street and K Street to Georgetown.