by Ryan Felton
Rendering of M-1 Rail streetcar project (Wikimedia Commons)
Organizers behind a 3.3-mile streetcar line along Woodward Avenue said today that groundbreaking and construction details of the transit project "will be announced in the coming weeks" -- with an indication work should begin next month.
The news follows Detroit City Council's unanimous approval of the M-1 Rail project's operating and construction agreement today. Organizers also said in a press release today that a public information campaign will be launched in the coming weeks to "prepare residents, businesses and patrons throughout the Woodward corridor for upcoming construction."
In a statement today, M-1 Rail President & CEO Matt Cullen said the transit line will "ignite tremendous new economic development and job creation and will provide a foundation for improved and expanded public transit throughout the region."
The announcement today follows news earlier this month that legislation passed by both the state House and Senate would relax voting thresholds for the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority to operate the streetcar line. Previously, the RTA's bylwas required a unanimous vote to construct or operate a rail line; the legislation would reduce that to a more attainable supermajority, seven of nine votes.