Construction begins on M-1 Detroit light rail project, will link downtown Detroit to New Center area

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The long awaited M-1 Rail streetcar project is here! After 7 years in the making, construction has started this morning.

Woodward Ave. is closed from Adams Street to Campus Martius Park.

Mayor Mike Duggan is excited for a new rail system that will be aimed at making downtown Detroit a destination location. "You know this is history today," said Mayor Duggan. "It was 1956 that the street railway system was torn up in the city of Detroit."

The city is seeing its first light rail in more than half a century. "If you're going to build a true city with real density, you've got to have a light rail."

According to organizers the M-1 Rail streetcar will bring revenue. The Woodward Avenue corridor could see an estimated 3.5 billion in economic boosts over the next 10 years.

Matt Cullen, President and CEO of M-1 Rail, explains how the project cannot be done without help from multiple areas. "The M-1 team, MDOT, construction managers, and 700 construction workers will be hard at work for the next 27 months to take this project on."

With shops lining the street up and down Woodward, business could be tough during the construction, but owners say the long term gains far outweigh the temporary pains.

 

All streets that run east and west will continue to be open at this time.

 

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