UPDATED: FEBRUARY 5, 2016 2:57 PM — Miles of steel rail lines for SunRail's 17.2-mile south extension were delivered to Orlando Tuesday night, and the rail ties are expected next week. That means workers can start prepping to lay the tracks before the end of the month.
"It's a big milestone," SunRail COO Miguel Torres told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday.
Torres and Project Manager Tawny Olore updated members of the commuter rail Technical Advisory Committee on the progress of phases two and three Wednesday afternoon.
"They're actually laying rail today, and that should occur for the next three days," Olore said.
Most of the rail lead lines come in 1,600-foot lengths but have to be cut before installation. Tuesday's delivery included enough steel to cover about half of the 17-mile extension, according to FDOT Spokesman Steve Olson.
He said construction on the new Meadow Woods station in south Orange and three stations in Osceola County could start as early as April. The contractor, Middlesex-Herzog II joint venture, will likely build the four stations simultaneously in order to complete them all when service starts in late 2017.
The expansion to the south is pegged to cost $187 million, with federal funding covering 50 percent and local and state funds each contributing 25 percent.
Olore said FDOT is "on the cusp" of executing a contract to build the 22 grade crossings on SunRail's southern extension. More than 50 phase one grade crossings will be reconstructed beginning summer.
"This is going to be a big year for us," she said.