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Detroit streetcar project not in jeopardy, CEO says

Yesterday, the chief executive of Detroit's M-1 Rail streetcar project issued a statement in response to a Detroit newspaper report that stated the project is facing a $12 million shortfall.

The Detroit News reported that the planned 3.3-mile, $137 million Woodward Avenue project is facing the shortfall and asking for additional federal dollars to complete the streetcar system. The newspaper said Michigan members of Congress are warning the project could be in jeopardy unless the U.S. Department of Transportation provides additional funds.

In his statement, M-1 Rail CEO Matthew Cullen denied the project is in jeopardy.

"The construction of the M-1 Rail streetcar will proceed as planned and commence upon City Council approval of our operating agreement. We hope for approval next week," he said.

A Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant would be one component of the project's funding structure, and there are contingency plans that would be executed if the grant isn't approved, said Cullen.

"We remain very optimistic about the requested TIGER grant based on the quality of our application, the strong support of the mayor, our congressional delegation and others, the [Obama] administration's focus and commitment to the city of Detroit, and the profound impact of this project for our community," he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/19/2014