M-1 Rail details winter work schedule

From Crain’s Detroit Business:

Photo from M-1 Rail.
Photo from M-1 Rail.

The orange barrels making for a traffic slalom course on Woodward Avenue north of Grand Circus Park will continue through the winter for M-1 Rail streetcar construction in Detroit, the project said today.

Work will include continued construction on freeway overpasses and underground utility relocation, M-1 COO Paul Childs said.

Woodward, even in construction zones, will be plowed in accordance with city and state policies.

The project will suspend work if temperatures and weather conditions become unsafe for workers.

“Our protocol ensures the dedicated crew members who work in the cold are protected should the weather become too severe,” Childs said. “The safety of our crew is an overriding priority; simply, if the cold is extreme, we won’t work that day. However, we don’t anticipate an impact to our overall schedule, since we accounted for these situations when we developed our timeline for completion in late 2016.”

Construction will be halted on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Storm/sewer work will begin soon in the neighborhood between West Grand Boulevard and Bethune Street, M-1 said.

“Working through the winter lays the groundwork that allows for our construction crews to quickly ramp up once the weather breaks,” Childs said. “Next year, construction will reach its peak; we have an aggressive schedule planned that will ensure we are able to deliver the project safely and on time in 2016.”

Dates, times and locations will be announced in early 2015 for community update meetings to discuss the spring construction schedule, M-1 said.

In 2015, M-1 expects to install track between State and Larned streets, around Campus Martius Park and between Adams Avenue and I-75 as soon as weather permits.

Station platforms will be poured at Larned, north of Campus Martius Park, at Grand Circus Park and north of Montcalm Street, M-1 said.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will begin its Woodward reconstruction from the Fisher Freeway north to Chandler Street. M-1 will concurrently install its track.

Additionally, foundations for the overhead electrical lines that will power M-1’s six streetcars will be installed next year, along with new traffic signals, streetcar system conduits, station platforms and other infrastructure upgrades.

The Woodward overpass at I-75 and I-94 should be completed by late fall 2015, M-1 said.

The $6.9 million Penske Technical Center between Custer and Bethune streets will be designed and built next year. The facility will be used for the system’s maintenance and operations.

Construction of the $137 million 3.3-mile streetcar loop began in July.

M-1 Rail is a nonprofit using a blend of public and private funding to finance construction and operations.

The line is a mostly curbside fixed-rail streetcar circulator system, which will be commingled with traffic. It will have 20 stations at 12 stops between Grand Boulevard and Congress Street, and run in the median at its north and south ends.

Organizers predict 5,000 to 8,000 riders a day.

Specifics on work schedules and project details can be found at m-1rail.com.

Source: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20141212/NEWS/141219946/m-1-rail-details-winter-work-schedule-crew-will-work-through-cold-to