Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Streetcar Track Steel Has Arrived

City receives first of 474 80-foot long segments, soon to be installed on streets.

By - Mar 16th, 2017 05:05 pm
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Milwaukee Streetcar Rails. Photo by Dave Reid.

Milwaukee Streetcar Rails. Photo by Dave Reid.

The first shipments of steel that will form the actual track for the Milwaukee Streetcar have arrived. The segments, 52 rails delivered via flat-bed truck from Indiana, are being stored in the curb lane near the Wisconsin Department of Transportation office at 1001 W. St. Paul Ave.

Ultimately the city will accept delivery of 474 80-foot long, 3,067 pound segments that will be stored at five spots in the curb lane on city streets. Those steel rails will then be welded together into 320-foot long spans by a nationally-traveling team that specializes in electric flash butt welding. The steel is expected to be fully delivered by the end of the month.

The first construction of the guideway system is planned for April on a stretch of W. St. Paul Ave. from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station to N. Plankinton Ave. Construction work will involve cutting an 8-foot wide and 2-foot deep segment of the street out and installing the steel rails and new concrete. On streets like W. St. Paul Ave. where the streetcar will operate in both directions two cuts will be made, while N. Milwaukee St. and N. Broadway will only see one cut because the streetcar will only operate in one direction.

Construction on the streetcar system is being led by Kiewet Infrastructure. Utility work in advance of the actual streetcar guideway construction is already well underway, with crews hired by We Energies and other utilities working at a number of spots along the route.

Public operation on the initial route connecting the Milwaukee Intermodal Station and Westown with the Historic Third Ward, East Town and the Lower East Side is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018 following route testing. The lakefront line extension is expected to begin operating in the fourth quarter of 2019.

For more information on the project’s construction timeline and details see our February article “Streetcar Construction Starts in April.”

More Information

For more information on project details, how the operator will be selected, what the vehicles will be like, and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.

Categories: Eyes on Milwaukee

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