From The Detroit News:
M-1 Rail said in December 2013 it began utility relocation work along Woodward Avenue in Detroit — the first step toward full-fledged construction of the 3.3-mile, $137 million Detroit streetcar system.
M-1 Rail’s construction manager/general contractor, Stacy and Witbeck, along with Detroit-based utility contractor Blaze Contracting Inc. started relocating a catch basin at the southwest corner of the median at Congress and Woodward.
“The relocation of underground utilities will allow the project to move rapidly once track construction along Woodward Avenue begins next year,” said Paul Childs, M-1’s chief operating officer.
“Today we’ve prudently taken an important step toward fulfilling our mission of delivering a modern streetcar system to Detroit.”
M-1 is still deciding whether the transit system will be on-wire or off-wire. On-wire cars get their power from overhead wires, while off-wire cars are powered by batteries.
M-1 is in the process of identifying the streetcar vendor, and the choice will help determine what power source M-1 will use, said James Canning, a spokesman.
Canning said doing the utility work now should help speed construction once it starts next year.
Workers are expected to spend five to 12 days at eight work sites along Woodward from Larned to John R streets. Workers will finish at one site before moving to other sites.
Each work site will require an excavation approximately 10 feet by 10 feet in order to relocate or replace catch basins, storm manholes or water main gate valves. Crews will work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. as necessary.
“We will be using traffic control barrels, signs and barricades to establish temporary lane closures, but our utility relocation work will not prevent customer access to businesses along the Woodward Corridor. We are not shutting down Woodward Avenue for these eight work sites,” said Tom Gilman, project manager with Stacy and Witbeck.
“This work will eventually require some temporary utility shut-offs, but to minimize the impact to businesses and residents, we have a strategy in place to provide advance notice to the affected parties.”
M-1 is not the only group doing utility relocation in preparation for the new streetcar system. Other utilities including DTE Energy, Comcast and MCI have received permits to reposition underground facilities to prepare for the streetcar project.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131220/METRO05/312200105#ixzz2q1odFX1M