Detroit Streetcar Construction Will be Busy

Officials with M-1 Rail in Detroit are eyeing an aggressive 2015 construction schedule for the streetcar line that is being built on Woodward Avenue.

The 3-3 mile line is expected to open in 2016 between Campus Martius in downtown Detroit and the New Center area. Track laying will resume in March.

Motorists, though, may be less than pleased with what an M-1Rail official described as a “very aggressive” construction schedule.

“It’s going to be a lot of orange cones,” said Sommer Woods, director of external relations for M-To minimize the impact, M-1 will keep cross streets open and maintain access to medical centers.

M-1 officials will be holding six community update meetings to provide the public information about construction plans in specific neighborhoods.

During a recent in downtown Detroit, Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United, noted that bus riders on the SMART system are confused by detours on parts of Woodward that remain in place even though the area is currently open to traffic.

Detroit Department of Transportation buses resumed travel along the route after last year’s construction ended.

Woods said was the decision of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, rather than M-1 Rail, to keep the detours in place.

Beth Gibbons, spokeswoman for SMART, said that although travel along Woodward might not be restricted now, that would change in coming months.

“SMART decided to put our buses on permanent detour until construction is completed,” Gibbons said. “We’re trying to keep it simpler for the customers knowing that the detours are standing until further notice.”




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