Friday, January 10, 2014

Milwaukee seeks streetcar right-of-way change

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Milwaukee seeks streetcar right-of-way change City of Milwaukee

Milwaukee, facing stiff anti-rail opposition from its namesake county and the state of Wisconsin, continues pursuing an initial $65 million starter streetcar line, focusing on limiting costs of utility relocation, which opponents have seized on as one way to kill the plan.

City officials have asked the Federal Transit Administration to approve running part of the line on two separate parallel streets, North Milwaukee and North Broadway, instead of placing both tracks on Broadway, according to local media.

The request to FTA comes after FTA gave approval to the project a year ago, necessitating an amendment to FTA’s Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The city asserts the route change will not significantly alter the project’s goals or potential impacts.

Federal funding of $54.9 million has been approved for the project. The proposed adjustments could reduce the potential costs of utility relocation by up to $10 million, the city has said.

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