D.C.

Streetcar line along H Street delayed until 2013

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Construction for new streetcars has been under way for two years along H Street but it won’t be until late 2013 until they will roll through the street.

That's the goal: A network of streetcar lines across the District.

The streetcar line was scheduled to be finished in 2012. Restaurants and businesses opened with the promise of easy transportation that would be provided by the streetcars in an area far from any Metro station.

Driss Ouadrhiri opened a Moroccan restaurant here on the promise of streetcar access by 2012. While his eatery is doing well, he's frustrated after hearing word from the city that streets cars won't be rolling into at least the fall of 2013.

A myriad of road improvements, including streetcar tracks, are in place. But city officials concede it will take more time than expected to buy additional cars, install overhead wires and build power stations necessary to run streetcars down H Street.

People who live and work along the H Street corridor have been anticipating the new access. Michelle Bazie, who moved here 10 years ago, said the neighborhood " is totally changed and so much for the better."

The stretch of clubs, restaurants and small grocery stores pulses with activity. The long-term goal is a network of eight streetcar lines criss-crossing the District, covering 37 miles of track. The overall cost from local, federal and private sources is estimated around $1.5 billion.

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