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M-1 Construction Begins Monday On Woodward (VIDEO)

By Edward Cardenas

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) - Construction will get underway Monday on the first leg of the 3.3 mile  M-1 Rail project on Woodward.

After seven years of planning, work on the light rail program will commence early in the morning with crews shutting down Woodward to vehicular traffic between Adams and Larned at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Work in this section of the project is expected to last 120 days - and while Woodward will be closed - cross streets will remain open except for temporary closures and detours.

The start of the $140 million project marks the start of something "unique."

"We are the first non-profit, public-private partnership in the transit industry to actually do this size project," said Paul Childs, chief operating officer of M-1. "It has never been done before. It has been a long road."

While the road will be closed, sidewalks and businesses will remain open in the construction zone and along Woodward.

M-1 officials stated that construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. During this time, construction will include concrete removal, drainage and track installation, repaving and utility relocation.

This will be the first leg in the 27-month construction project for M-1 Rail.   The streetcar route will travel north and south on both sides of Woodward between Larned and West Grand Blvd. The streetcar will service 20 stations - 16 curbside and four median - at 12 locations along Woodward.

Childs added that this type of project is catalytic for the community.

"A streetcar actually helps activate the sidewalks," he said. "You will see people on the sidewalk. People on the sidewalk means you have neighborhoods, you have businesses, you have commerce going on."

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