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Workers Begin Laying First Segments Of Rail For M-1 Track

DETROIT (WWJ) -- A new phase begins Monday for Detroit's new streetcar project. M-1 rail crews will begin dragging the first pieces of 560 foot, four-ton sections of rail into place along the downtown portion of the Woodward Avenue route.

The steel rail was delivered and welded in early September. The placement will mark the first steps in laying the track of the six-mile loop.

Rail (M1) Project RonDeweyThe work will begin at Temple St. and Cass Ave., with the strings of rail going along Woodward to Grand Circus Park.

The 3.3-mile-long project received $12.2 million in additional funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

This new funding, obtained by the southeast Michigan's congressional delegation, comes from the U.S. DOT's TIGER discretionary grant program, which invests in local transportation projects designed to strengthen the economy, according to officials.

A construction crew of about 10 people are working at an outdoor, assembly line in Midtown to take the track and clamp it together to be welded, polished and stored for installation along the first stretch of project between Campus Martius and Grand Circus Park.

"It is very historic," said Sommer Woods, director of external relations for M-1 Rail, of the project which continues to move forward with a number of partners. "Not only is a rail and streetcar system is coming back to the city of Detroit, but it is historic in how we got to this point. It is a collaboration with all of our public and private partners."

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