Streetcar Rails Being Welded
Mayor, MPS students on-hand to see the work
Rails for the Milwaukee Streetcar are being electrically flash butt welded together on Milwaukee streets. The work, which began last week, is being led by a crew of four from Progress Rail. When finished, the 320 foot-long rails weigh over 12,000 pounds.
Students from Milwaukee Public Schools‘ Bradley Tech High School joined Mayor Tom Barrett for an up-close look at the work on Friday morning. The school, located in Walker’s Point, features a welding program.
Barrett noted that “the debate is going to change from how do we stop this to how do we extend this.” He noted that this is the first time the public has been able to see actual construction on the long-debated project. The mayor stated that Milwaukee is outpacing the state in construction jobs, and that it was important for the students to see the work first-hand as soon enough they will be doing it themselves.
The welded rail is designed to provide a stronger, more reliable track system for the streetcar as well as a smoother, quieter riding experience for customers. The steel comes from a mill in Indiana.
Progress Rail, a subsidiary of Catepillar, is anticipated to complete the work next week. The completed rails will be stored in the parking lane at five spots throughout the Downtown area.
Kiewet Infrastructure is leading the construction of the project. The firm expects to complete construction in the second quarter of 2018 to allow for testing to commence. The Milwaukee Streetcar Maintenance Facility, being built under Interstate 794, is scheduled for completion before the end of 2017. The facility will be completed in advance so that the city can safely store the vehicles delivered by Brookville Equipment Corporation.
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.
Construction and Operator Selection
Department of Public Works Commissioner Ghassan Korban noted that construction crews will begin to prepare W. St. Paul Ave. for construction next week. That work, which is intended to only cause a partial closure of the street when possible, will start with cutting an 8-foot wide and 2-foot deep segment of the street out.
Utility work is still on-going along portions of the route. That work, which has been underway for over a year, continues to move block-by-block throughout the route. We Energies and other utilities are hiring their own crews for that work and are being reimbursed by the city.
The vetting progress will begin shortly for selection of the system operation and maintenance leader. Responses to the request-for-proposals were due on Tuesday of this week.
Milwaukee County, after a last-minute approval process, did submit a bid to operate the system. However, multiple sources indicate that the county has a long-shot of being selected due to the experience requirements in the city’s RFP.
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.
- City Won’t Delay Streetcar for County – Jeramey Jannene – March 28th, 2017
- County Okays Streetcar Bid – Jeramey Jannene – March 23rd, 2017
- Streetcar Track Steel Has Arrived – Jeramey Jannene – March 16th, 2017
- Should County Operate Streetcar? – Jeramey Jannene – March 8th, 2017
- Streetcar Track Construction Starts in April – Jeramey Jannene – February 17th, 2017
- Should County Operate Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – March 8th, 2017
- The Milwaukee Streetcar is Hiring – Jeramey Jannene – January 20th, 2017
- Streetcar Project Receives Federal Grant – Jeramey Jannene – October 12th, 2016
- Council Okays Streetcar to Bucks Arena – Jeramey Jannene – July 6th, 2016
- $6.5 Million in Streetcar Savings – Jeramey Jannene – February 26th, 2016
- Donovan Lies About Streetcar Suit – Jeramey Jannene – February 15th, 2016
- BID Sells Streetcar-Related Development – Jeramey Jannene – January 15th, 2016
- Pennsylvania Company Wins Streetcar Contract – Jeramey Jannene – November 13th, 2015
- City Accepts $14 Million Federal Streetcar Grant – Michael Horne – October 29th, 2015
- Anti-Streetcar Petition Dies – Bruce Murphy – August 28th, 2015
- Scott Walker Aids Milwaukee Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – July 13th, 2015
- Streetcar Construction Starts in October – Jeramey Jannene – July 10th, 2015
- The Strange Politics of Anti-Streetcar-ites – Bruce Murphy – June 18th, 2015
- Anti-Streetcar Petition Drive Fails – Bruce Murphy – March 5th, 2015
- Streetcar Signing Is Quite a Celebration – Michael Horne – February 13th, 2015
- Milwaukee Streetcar Approved – Jeramey Jannene – February 10th, 2015
- Who’s Lobbying for the Streetcar – Bruce Murphy – February 5th, 2015
- Will Streetcar Help the Inner City? – Bruce Thompson – February 4th, 2015
- City Attorney Says Streetcar Petitions Might be Moot – Bruce Murphy – January 30th, 2015
- Millennials And The Streetcar – Bruce Thompson – January 27th, 2015
- Streetcar Responses Show Wide Support – Jeramey Jannene – January 22nd, 2015
- Streetcar Approved, but Held – Jeramey Jannene – January 21st, 2015
- Koch-Funded Group Backs Anti-Streetcar Drive – Bruce Murphy – January 20th, 2015
- Streetcar Backers Say They Have the Votes – Jeramey Jannene – January 20th, 2015
- Who is Funding the Anti-Streetcar Effort? – Bruce Murphy – January 20th, 2015
- Will Anti-Streetcar Referendum Succeed? – Bruce Murphy – January 9th, 2015
- The Story Behind the Streetcar Referendum – Michael Horne and Bruce Murphy – January 8th, 2015
- Council Delays Streetcar Until January – Jeramey Jannene – December 16th, 2014
- Committee Takes No Action on Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – December 10th, 2014
- Committee Approves Milwaukee Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – December 9th, 2014
- RACM Approves Tax Funding for Streetcar – Michael Horne – December 8th, 2014
- How to Sell the Streetcar – Michael Horne – November 28th, 2014
- Next Stops for the Streetcar – Michael Horne – November 24th, 2014
- Barrett Moving Forward with Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – November 18th, 2014
- Who Will Be Streetcar Operator – Michael Horne – May 8th, 2014
- A Streetcar Named Cooperation? – Dave Reid – April 27th, 2014
- How a Streetcar Spurs Development – Angie Schmitt – November 3rd, 2013
- Streetcar Social – Michael Horne – September 12th, 2013
- Mayor Says Streetcar is a “Trojan Horse” – Michael Horne – April 17th, 2013
- Whoops, We Changed Our Mind – Dave Reid – September 27th, 2012
- Battle of the Bobs: Donovan vs Bauman Streetcar Press Conference – Jeramey Jannene – May 18th, 2012
- Important Hoan Bridge and Milwaukee Streetcar Meetings This Week – Dave Reid – November 14th, 2011
- Milwaukee Streetcar Passes Common Council – Jeramey Jannene – July 26th, 2011
- Keep the Milwaukee Streetcar Moving Forward – Jeramey Jannene – July 8th, 2011
- Milwaukee Streetcar at Apex – Jeramey Jannene – June 16th, 2011
- Milwaukee Streetcar Takes Key Step Forward – Jeramey Jannene – May 6th, 2010
- Milwaukee Streetcar Meeting This Thursday – Jeramey Jannene – October 5th, 2009
- Milwaukee Streetcar Routes Unveiled by Mayor Barrett – Jeramey Jannene – September 21st, 2009
- Milwaukee Streetcar Round-Up – Jeramey Jannene – April 19th, 2009
- Vote for your Favorite Milwaukee Streetcar Route – Jeramey Jannene – March 25th, 2009
- Design Your Own Streetcar Route – Jeramey Jannene – March 23rd, 2009
- Streetcars Coming to Milwaukee – Dave Reid – March 14th, 2009
For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.
- Transportation: Streetcar Study Draws Controversy - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 27th, 2021
- Transportation: Streetcar Returning To Full Schedule - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 26th, 2021
- Transportation: Southside Streetcar Study, Street Improvements Approved - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 20th, 2021
- Transportation: City Proposes Study of Streetcar to Walker’s Point - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 8th, 2021
- Transportation: First Streetcar Smart Kiosks Installed - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 3rd, 2021
- Plats and Parcels: Lakefront Streetcar Extension Scheduled for June 2022 Opening - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 6th, 2020
- Transportation: Should Milwaukee Stop The Hop? - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 13th, 2020
- Transportation: The Hop Now Wears a Mask - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 18th, 2020
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Is A Couture Deal Finally Coming? - Jeramey Jannene - May 13th, 2020
- Transportation: SUV Driver Runs Into The Hop - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 28th, 2020
Read more about Milwaukee Streetcar here