Most M-1 Rail work to end for season by Thanksgiving

Candice Williams The Detroit News

Orange barrels and barricades snarling traffic on Woodward for M-1 Rail project construction should be gone by Thanksgiving, officials said Thursday.

“The goal is to have it open to traffic,” said Paul Childs, COO of the M-1 Rail, which operates the QLine. “It doesn’t mean that it won’t have momentary lane drops. ... New lights, new crosswalks, mid-block crossings will be in. All those kinds of things will be there.”

The news of when motorists should expect smoother travel along Woodward was among several updates Childs provided Thursday with Matt Cullen, M-1 Rail CEO. They spoke with media at the recently opened Penske Tech Center in the New Center area.

The M-1 Rail project has $187.3 million in committed funding, which will cover $142 million in capital costs, $23.9 million in preconstruction and administrative costs, and $21.4 million for streetcar operations, Cullen said.

The $142 million for capital costs is up 4 percent partly due to switching to Pennsylvania-based Brookville Equipment Corp., which officials said is the “leading provider of off-wire streetcar technology.” About 60 percent of the streetcar system will be off wire.

The first streetcar is expected to arrive this fall and all six by the end of the year, officials said.

Track installation is 83 percent complete, officials said.

The QLine is expected to start operations in early 2017. It will travel 3.3 miles downtown on Woodward to the New Center area.

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