Report: M-1 Rail project short $12 million, groundbreaking still set for summer

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Woodward Avenue streetcar rendering (M-1 Rail) If you've been following the Woodward streetcar project, you've likely noticed its groundbreaking date keeps getting pushed back again and again. Perhaps The Detroit News can explain why that's the case:

Washington— Detroit’s planned 3.3-mile $137 million Woodward Avenue streetcar project faces a $12 million funding shortfall, and Michigan members of Congress warn the project could be in jeopardy unless the Transportation Department gives it more money.

A two-page letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx obtained by The Detroit News on Tuesday warns that the project urgently needs additional grant money to proceed. But even without federal funds, officials of the so-called M-1 project says it would survive — but concede it might have to be scaled back.

The mostly private-funded venture would feature a 3.1-mile track running between West Grand Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue. It's been widely cast by officials as an anchor project that will lay the groundwork for a regional public transit system. The project's chief exec, Matt Cullen, told the News they plan to go ahead with the groundbreaking anyway -- perhaps buying one less passenger car or shifting operating funds around. 

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