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Monday, 20 April 2015 00:00cat

Construction Started on Detroit's New Light Rail

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info
Construction Started on Detroit's New Light Rail jalopnik

Track for Detroit’s M-1 Rail, a new light rail line on the city’s lower Woodward Avenue, is projected to be laid before Thanksgiving of this year. The M-1 Rail will be the first streetcar line in Detroit since the last remnants of a sprawling system was torn up in the 1950’s. The cost of the project is expected to total $140 million and will stretch for 3.3 miles from downtown Detroit to Grand Boulevard in New Center. Total completion of the rail is expected around the end of 2016, shortly before a massive Detroit Red Wings arena and entertainment district along its route is supposed to be finished. The new rail will service 12 stops with 20 stations via a 60-foot-long, driver-operated train.

The project is seen as a major catalyst for development along the Woodward corridor. “This is not just a transit project, it really is to drive economic development,” M-1 Rail president and CEO Matt Cullen remarked earlier this year.

Fifteen private donors led by Penske Chairman Roger Penske, Quicken Chairman Dan Gilbert and M-1 CEO Matt Cullen contributed $100 million to the project. Also, after the federal government signed off on the project in April 2014, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $25 million in federal funding for the M-1 Rail.  

Chief Operating Officer Paul Childs says construction in Detroit’s Midtown and New Center areas will continue to leave only a few lanes of traffic open. From June to October, however, crews will need to close parts of Woodward leading to the Campus Martius park. According to Childs about 90-percent of the rail line should be completed by the end of this year.

“The basic trackwork, that piece will be done. Obviously we’re coming back the next year with what we’re calling out systems work. So we’ll have all of our flat work, all of our civil work, you know the vast majority of the rail, the vast majority of the road work done, all the drainage work, all those thing will be done,” remarked Childs.

Work stringing wire and placing streetcar stations is scheduled for 2016.

 

Sources  MliveWDET

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