February 17, 2017
Track construction for The Milwaukee Streetcar’s first phase will begin this spring, likely starting in March with delivery of steel rail.
Rail delivery and welding
- 474 80-foot “sticks” of rail for tracks along the Phase 1 route will be delivered in March in batches over one to two weeks to five “drop” locations along the route (see map below for locations).
- The steel rails will be welded at each drop into longer track sections of up to 320 feet in length before being installed in streets. The first welding will start at the drop west of the Amtrak station on St. Paul Avenue shortly after delivery. Welding will then move to the other drops, with all welding for Phase 1 completed over about four weeks.
- Actual track installation in the roadway is expected to begin in April 2017 on W. St. Paul Ave. between Plankinton and 4th St. Track will be installed on other parts of the route starting later this spring and continue through 2018 (see map for construction zones and preliminary timeline).
- To install the rail, trenches will be dug in the roadway 26-inches deep, and approximately 8- to 16-feet-wide; the rail is laid; concrete is poured around it; and asphalt is used to match the existing roadway outside the track zone, leaving the tracks flush with the roadway. (The width of the trench varies depending on whether one or two track slabs are being constructed.)
Foundations for overhead contact system (OCS) poles
- In spring, crews will also begin drilling and pouring foundations for some of the poles that will carry the cabling for the overhead contact system (OCS) that brings power to the vehicles throughout the route. The OCS poles and cabling will be installed at a separate time to be determined. During track construction, utility crews will continue to rebuild and relocate facilities as needed.
- Milwaukee residents will be employed on much of the construction. The project has a goal of employing at least 40% Milwaukee residents (RPP) and contracting 21% DBEs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises).
- The city is working closely with business associations, businesses and property owners to make travel and access as easy as possible during construction, as it does with other road construction projects.
Read Construction-related Q&A.
This preliminary map is a planning tool being used by the project team to talk with stakeholders along the route about the draft timeline for construction. Adjustments and changes will be made based on community input, materials procurement, construction schedule shifts, weather and numerous other factors.
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