SOJ manages the construction and operation of Portland's Streetcar Project. The Streetcar is at the heart of a new approach to shaping cities that promotes investment at the City's core, provides homes for people of diverse income groups and supports the urban amenities that make great cities great. The Project was initiated to connect 70 acres of abandoned rail yards and a contaminated brownfield site just north of Downtown with another 128 acres of largely underused or vacant industrial land at the opposite end of Downtown. Between the announcement of the project in 1997 and 2004, a total of $1.448 billion in development has occurred within two blocks of the Streetcar line with an additional $1 billion in new investment projected for the newly-emerging South Waterfront area which includes the Oregon Health and Science University's new campus and a high-density residential and commercial district. Portland Streetcar was selected as the national Gold Medal Winner of the 2005 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence which is awarded to celebrate excellence in urban placemaking.
The first phase of this double track project runs 2.4 miles from Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Northwest Portland, through the Pearl and River districts to Portland State University (PSU) at a cost of $56.9 million. Track construction was initiated in April 1999 and passenger service began in late 2001. A $16 million .6-mile extension from PSU to RiverPlace opened in March 2005. Construction on the Gibbs Extension is scheduled to be completed in late 2006.
In addition to managing design and construction, SOJ is responsible for coordinating the formation of a Local Improvement District and securing other local and state monies to fund the construction and ongoing operation of the Streetcar. SOJ is currently managing two Alternatives Analyses for future Streetcar extensions on Portland's eastside and to Lake Oswego.