More than 400 pieces of U.S. made steel rail, organized in five different stacks for the Milwaukee Streetcar project line the streets of downtown, waiting to be installed in April.
The 80-foot pieces will soon be welded into 320-foot long segments, about the length of a football field.
“A lot of foot traffic here from the new hotels and restaurants going in… so we’re just happy to get more and more. So I think the streetcar is a brilliant idea that the city has put in” said Ryan Perrigoue of “The Wicked Hop” restaurant.
The rail line will come right through the Third Ward next to where his bar is located at St. Paul Avenue and Broadway.
While he’s looking forward to the finished product, the construction won’t bother him either.
“Isn’t Milwaukee always under construction?” he said.
Other’s aren’t as enthusiastic about the project. Tim Wood of Milwaukee PC thinks the new train system will have little appeal.
“I think it’s going to be the place that nobody is going to ride it… who’s going to ride it?” Wood said.
He’s also concerned about the construction that is about to occur right outside his shop. Rail sections are already stored there and Wood said he’s worried the installation may block access for his customers.
The Milwaukee Streetcar line is expected to be completed in late 2018 with a price tag of $128 million. Grants from the federal government cover more than 50 percent of that total. In the first full year it is operational, officials expect nearly 2,000 people a day to ride the streetcar at a cost of $1 per ride.
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