Streetcar update shows millions in savings

Posted at 11:49 AM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 17:37:39-05

MILWAUKEE -- The price tag on Milwaukee’s streetcar project is less than originally budgeted for.

During a project update Friday morning, project manager Ashley Booth says they have been able to save $6.5 million.

“We have seen a cost reduction in our project when related to the facilities management and relocation with We Energies,” Booth said.

The budget for the facility relocation was originally just over $21 million, but because of the savings, Booth said it is now closer to $15 million.

A major part of the savings, Booth said, was due to the movement of their mainline rail.

“The key drivers were relocating our east-west alignment from Wells St. to Kilbourn and our North alignment from Van Buren to Jackson,” Booth added. “And then there was a ton of minor adjustments to avoid vaults, manholes, and major lines.”

Booth says they are roughly 95% finished with the mainline design and plan to begin the bidding process in March. The lakefront line is roughly 35% finished.

The $124 million downtown streetcar project was approved by the Milwaukee Common Council in February of 2015.