Date set for Detroit streetcar groundbreaking

Written by Douglas John Bowen
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July 28, 2014, is the date now set for groundbreaking ceremonies initiating work on Detroit's M1 steetcar project, M1 officials said Friday, June 27.

The announcement affirms assertions made by M1 representatives early last week during the 2014 APTA Rail Conference in Montreal that the streetcar project was continuing to make progress. Earlier projections called for groundbreaking to take place this past spring. Last Tuesday the Detroit City Council cleared the way for groundbreaking to occur.

“Over the next 30 days our team will be pounding the pavement to make everyone who lives, works and visits the Woodward [Avenue] corridor aware of what they should expect from track construction and how to navigate around it once we begin on July 28th,” said M1 Rail Chief Operating Officer Paul Childs. “We are moving quickly to provide information and resources to businesses and residents along the corridor. There will be a business support program that we will introduce in the coming weeks along with more details about construction activities and timelines as they are finalized.”

M1 said it would work with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and DTE Energy as the latter two parties “start complementary work around mid-July before M-1 RAIL begins its work on Monday, July 28th. The MDOT and DTE work on Woodward Avenue will not prohibit vehicular traffic and will only require limited lane closures.” MDOT and DTE already have initiated some preliminary work.

Alameda, Calif.-based Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. was named construction manager and general contractor for the 3.3-mile, $137 million project last July.