Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Detroit M1 Rail backers outline plans

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Notwithstanding the biggest U.S. urban bankruptcy event to date, officially occurring last week, private-sector backers of Detroit's M1 streetcar project are proceeding with implementation of the Motor City's first modern streetcar line.

M1 Rail officials last week updated the Downtown Detroit Partnership at the latter organization's summer stakeholder meeting outlining construction plans for the initial 3.3-mile segment along Woodward Avenue. Construction is set to commence in early fall.

Private-sector backers of the project include the Kresge Foundation, the Penske Corp., and Quicken Loans, among others.

M1 Chief Operating Officer Paul Childs and Director of Governmental and Community Affairs Sommer Woods noted construction will occur in two segments. At times, portions of Woodward Avenue will be closed to traffic and pedestrians, though detour signage will provide guidance. Construction is expected to be limited from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day.

Aware of utility issues embroiling other U.S. cities adding streetcars, Detroit and M1 Rail officials will limit utility service interruptions to a minimum. Any unavoidable interruptions will prompt a five-day advance notice to affected people and businesses.