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Thu Jan 29, 2015, 10:56 AM

M-1 Rail construction to ramp up this year in Detroit

(Detroit Free Press) An M-1 Rail official is predicting a busy 2015 as construction ramps up on the Woodward Avenue streetcar line this year.

The 2015 construction schedule, which includes the resumption of track installation beginning in March, is "very aggressive" to get in and get out and limit the impact, said Sommer Woods, director of external relations for M-1.

"It's going to be a lot of orange cones," Woods said, noting that efforts will be made to allow as much movement as possible along the 3.3-mile route, keep cross streets open and maintain access to medical centers. The streetcar is expected to be operational in late 2016 and run from Campus Martius in downtown Detroit to the New Center area.

Woods was speaking during the first of six community update meetings scheduled this month and next. The meetings are open to the public and are a chance to provide information to stakeholders in specific neighborhoods that are part of the rail corridor.

During the meeting at the M-1 Rail office 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. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2015/01/27/construction-busy/22408755/

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