M-1 RAIL contracts for Technical Center

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
image description

M-1 RAIL, the non-profit organization leading the design, construction, and future operation of a 3.3-mile modern streetcar along Woodward Avenue between Larned Street and West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, has reached an agreement for the design and construction of its Technical Center, to be located near the northern terminus of the line at Woodward and West Grand Blvd., in the city’s New Center neighborhood. The agreement is with a design/build team that includes Turner Construction Co., 3.L.K Construction, ABE Associates, Inc., and RNL.

“This facility will be one of the first new construction projects in the neighborhood, and is a key part of the entire project,” said M-1 RAIL Chief Operating Officer Paul Childs. “Members of the community have had a voice in the eventual design of the building, which will serve as the maintenance and storage and technical center for the streetcars.” The facility will be called the Penske Technical Center, in recognition of Roger Penske’s leadership of M-1 RAIL and Penske Corp. as one of the major donors to the M-1 RAIL project.

Speaking on behalf of the design/build team, ABE Associates Inc. President Andre Brooks, P.E., said, “For the community, by the community … That is our team motto. The Tech Center will be a catalyst for new development, neighborhood revitalization, and new job opportunities. Our design/build approach has been to unite this process with the Detroit community and tap into the community’s passionate grassroots spirit.” Brooks said the project also includes a commitment to hire Detroit residents for the construction workforce.

ABE Associates, Inc., and 3.L.K. Construction, two of the companies in the design/build team, are registered Detroit-Headquartered Businesses (DHB), Disadvantaged-Business-Enterprises (DBE), and Minority Business Enterprises (MBE). Turner is a registered Detroit-based Business (DBB). The fourth team member, RNL, is a national designer of light rail and mass transit maintenance facilities and is teamed with ABE Engineering, Inc. for architectural services.

M-1 RAIL Director of External Relations Sommer Woods said M-1 RAIL will continue its regular outreach and communication to keep Detroiters informed of scheduled activities, traffic closures, and construction progress.

Brooks said the design/build team is committed to significant participation of MBE, WBE, DBB, and DHB registered construction firms. The design/build team will also work with Detroit community based organizations to identify apprenticeship candidates.

“It is important to us and to our partners to include as many Detroiters as possible in the design and construction of the Tech Center,” said Childs. “We continue to benefit from great support across the entire community, and this construction should be an exciting time for all of us.”