Atlanta Streetcar Project

Cardno employee locating underground utilities with a ground penetrating radar device

Based on our extensive experience, reputation, and resources, Cardno was selected as the subsurface utility engineering provider tasked to meet a very quick turnaround deadline of five-months.

The City of Atlanta was awarded a $47 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery II (TIGER II) grant to fund a portion of the estimated $72 million in construction costs for the Atlanta Streetcar project.  

The streetcar project aimed to provide an integrated multi-modal, high-quality transit network linking communities and enhancing transit access and options. It was anticipated that the project would also support growth, promote economic development and help develop more livable communities.  

The streetcar’s planned alignment ran through downtown Atlanta and some of the city’s most important and historic districts. This 2.6-mile section was the first of several sections owned by the City of Atlanta and maintained/operated by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).  

While striving to create minimal impact on a city that never slept, and within traffic that never ceased, Cardno undertook a range of services to meet the brief, including:

  • completing a topographic survey of the entire corridor 
  • designating and surveying (CI/ASCE 38-02 Quality Level B) approximately 30 miles of underground utilities 
  • surveying and providing the inventory of aerial utilities on more than 650 poles 
  • surveying and mapping the right of way of the existing roads and interstate highway within the project area 
  • providing a dense network of survey control 
  • completing more than 250 test holes (CI/ASCE 38-02 Quality Level A)  
  • mapping the original streetcar line that operated from the 1880s until 1949, as well as Georgia Power’s first power station, installed in 1912. 

Our team worked hard to cultivate three-way, open communication with the project owners and 17 utility owners, holding additional meetings to keep working atmosphere cooperative and the project on track. Our team was also flexible and adaptable as the scope of works evolved during the project.

Recognizing the quality work we had undertaken and our commitment to the project's success, Cardno's scope was expanded to include utility coordination services. Working collaboratively with key stakeholders, we overlaid the 30 per cent, 60 per cent, and 90 per cent design plans provided by MARTA/MATC with the information gathered from the designating (CI/ASCE 38-02 Quality Level B) subsurface utility engineering services. This allowed us to create the utility impact analysis for the project, which we discussed with utility owners to identify any additional conflicts or concerns.