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M-1 Light Rail Project Set To Break Ground In Spring

DETROIT (WWJ) - It's been seven years in the making, but the shovels are expected to go in the dirt this spring for the M-1 light rail project in Detroit.

M-1 Board Chairman Roger Penske and CEO Matt Cullen gave members of the Detroit City Council an update at the session Tuesday.

"Some seven years ago, we came and talked with city council about this project, we have gone through a lot of ups and downs but today we think that we are on the right track," said Penske.

This is a 3.3 mile project with approximately $140 million dollars of expenditures said Penske.

"We had the experience of going to Portland and Denver to see what has happened and I think that this will be a case of a great economic motivator, it will tie in together the businesses on the north end and the south end," said Penske. "To me the 700 jobs generated through the construction project is important to the city of Detroit. The people who live here and also the companies, the small businesses, we will use during the construction process."

Cullen says the project will be complete in just over two years.

"Obviously, it was stalled at one point, when the regional transit system failed here in the city, cause the cost we stayed together - we stayed on track - and to me this would be a great asset for our city," said Cullen. "To me the council understands ... hopefully we will get the support and we hope to be in the ground sometime in the spring."

The streetcar will run every seven minutes along Woodward Avenue from Jefferson Avenue to just north of Grand Boulevard.


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