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Construction officially began just after midnight yesterday on Detroit's M-1 Rail streetcar line, as crews began positioning traffic detour signage and erecting pedestrian fencing around the work zone.Later yesterday, the site was visited by M-1 Rail Chairman Roger Penske, M-1 Rail President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cullen and Detroit Mayor Mike Dugan for a briefing on the first day of construction.The future 3.3-mile line, which will travel along Woodward Avenue, is the first public streetcar line in the nation that is supported by public-private partnerships involving foundations, corporations, and local, county, state and federal governments, according to M-1 Rail officials."The road to bring a modern streetcar line to Detroit began more than seven years ago and today we've reached a major milestone," said Penske. "The people who live and work in this city have tenacious spirits. It's that passion and love for this place that gets projects like this moving."When completed, the streetcar will travel north and south along Woodward AVenue between Larned Street and West Grand Boulevard. The line will serve 20 stations (16 curbside and four median running) at 12 locations. The project's backers hope it will help ignite new economic development and job creation, and provide a foundation for improved and expanded public transit throughout the region, M-1 Rail officials said.Stacy and Witbeck Inc. is the project's construction manager/general contractor.
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