For the past couple of years, Milwaukee has been working on a modern streetcar proposal that would link Downtown to nearby neighborhoods (Historic Third Ward to the south, Lower East Side to the northeast). Today the Common Council voted in favor of advancing the proposal to the final engineering stage.
This map showing the proposed route and how it relates to adjacent activity generators was cropped from the Public Meeting Displays (PDF link)
that were shown at a recent public information open house.
Initial Route (Phase 1)
Length: 2.1 miles, running from Milwaukee Intermodal Station (Amtrak, Greyhound, and other regional and intercity bus services), through the Historic Third Ward, up through the central business district, to the dense residential areas in the northeastern section of Downtown.
Estimated Construction cost: $64.6 million, including vehicle acquisition, maintenance facility, trackwork, etc. Does not include utility relocation costs, which are still being worked out.
Proposed Funding: $54.9 million from Federal transit money already granted to Milwaukee, plus $9.7 million from local tax-increment financing.
Estimated Operating Cost: $2.65 million/year, proposed to be covered by fares (single rides, daily/weekly/monthly/yearly passes), parking fees, and advertising/sponsorship revenue.
Route Extensions (Phase 2)
Two extensions are also proposed, and could be built in conjunction with the Initial Route if more Federal funding is secured in the near future (two previous attempts in the past couple of years were unsuccessful). One extension would run to the Pabst brewery (redevelopment already in progress) via 4th Street and Juneau Avenue, passing major activity centers like the downtown shopping mall, convention center, sports arena, and Park East Freeway redevelopment site (awaiting development proposals). A second extension would run up through the high-density residential neighborhoods on the Lower East Side. The combined estimated construction cost for these extensions is $40.2 million, and an additional $2.24 million for operating costs.
The final engineering stage is expected to be completed by Fall 2012, and construction could begin soon after. Streetcar operations are anticipated to start in Fall 2014.
Here are some links:
Milwaukee Streetcar Project Website
- More information about design, costs, economic development potential.
Part 1 - Milwaukee Streetcar DRAFT Environmental Assessment
(link to PDF)
Part 2- Milwaukee Streetcar DRAFT Environmental Assessment
(link to PDF)
Milwaukee streetcar plan on track for passage
article from July 14, 2011)
Milwaukee aldermen approve downtown streetcar line
(JS article from July 26, 2011)
Milwaukee streetcar approval comes with spending safeguards
article from July 26, 2011)