streetcar

Chuck Quirmbach

If you’ve been travelling in downtown Milwaukee recently, you may have noticed crews conducting test runs on the streetcar. With the streetcar’s initial 2-mile route opening in November, some people have safety concerns.

Marti Mikkelson

The Milwaukee Streetcar is set to begin operating next fall. You may have noticed all the construction that’s underway for the two-mile loop through downtown – as well as the tracks that have already been laid down. But, support for the service appears to be in doubt, as a new poll shows.

THE MILWAUKEE STREETCAR

The CEO of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino joined Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Friday to announce a partnership between the city and the Forest County Potawatomi Community. The agreement calls for the Potawatomi to give $10 million to the city over the course of 12 years. The mayor's office says the money "will be used to offset operating costs and will include free rides for all for the first 12 months of the streetcar's operation."

mariordo59 / Flickr

There are many things brewing in downtown Milwaukee. Perhaps the most notable project this summer has been the laying of the tracks for the new Milwaukee Streetcar, which has torn up roads throughout downtown and the Third Ward.

Residents have many lingering questions about the new streetcar, but the most persistent one seems to be: Why? Like many cities, Milwaukee once had a streetcar system that was removed in the 1950s. 

Bucks Arena, Streetcar Shape Local Job Training

Aug 25, 2017
Amanda Becker

The skyline in Milwaukee is changing, and with that comes hundreds of jobs. Though many of those positions don't require a college degree, they do require specific sets of skills. So, a local nonprofit has teamed up with construction firms to create programs to train city residents for that work.

For the new Milwaukee Bucks area, Carrie Enders of the contractor Wall-tech says her company had to get creative. “We did not have any qualified workers and we had this requirement with the City of Milwaukee."

Susan Bence

If you drive around downtown Milwaukee, or will for Summerfest, you may find all the torn up streets frustrating. Much of the construction is due to the city’s new streetcar. 

The project is in full swing, with workers laying tracks along some sections of the two mile route. It’s expected to begin operating in late 2018. We asked a few people what all the orange barrels mean to them, today.

LaToya Dennis

Construction crews are hard at work in Milwaukee building the city’s new streetcar. Welding is underway, and workers will soon start digging trenches for the tracks.

It’s a cold spring day, but the weather isn’t putting a damper on the progress of the Milwaukee streetcar. Sparks are flying.

THE MILWAUKEE STREETCAR

It appears less likely that the Milwaukee County Transit System will operate the city’s new streetcar. The Common Council on Tuesday overwhelmingly said no to extending the deadline for bids.

Construction of the initial two-mile track through downtown Milwaukee is expected to begin next month. But the Common Council has not yet decided who will operate the streetcar.

One entity that’s interested is the Milwaukee County Transit System. It was hoping to win more time to submit a bid as the deadline is next Tuesday.

Mitch Teich

The first shipment of rails for the Milwaukee streetcar has arrived.  The 80-foot sticks of rail are being delivered by truck and staged along St. Paul Avenue, west of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.

According to signage from the City of Milwaukee, the U.S.-made rails will be welded together using a technique called "electric flash-butt welding" to create 320-foot long segments which will be placed into the ground.

Work to begin installing rails into the 2.1-mile Phase 1 route could begin within a few weeks, with opening of the route expected in late 2018.

The Milwaukee Streetcar

Like it or not, the Milwaukee Streetcar is becoming a reality. Groundbreaking is essentially underway, as We Energies is moving utility lines along the two mile route through downtown. Service is slated to begin in 2018. But, arguments continue surfacing.

Perhaps the person who feels most passionately about the Milwaukee Streetcar is Mayor Tom Barrett. The project has been on his radar since he first took office in 2004.

Atlanta Streetcar

Modern day streetcar systems are popping up in places such as Dallas, Portland and Kansas City with hopes of sparking economic revival. Milwaukee leaders desire similar results here as they prepare to debut a system in 2018. But, not every project has lived up to its hype.

It took years longer than projected for the streetcar system in Washington D.C. to finally begin operating.

Martin Austermuhle says problems started back in 2007, when the district first began construction. 

Marti Mikkelson

If you’ve been driving downtown lately, you may have noticed streets ripped up around the Milwaukee Public Market. We Energies is moving utility lines to make way for the Milwaukee Streetcar.

The first leg will connect the Third Ward, the Intermodal Station and the east side. Service is slated to begin in 2018.

A few blocks away, inside the Zeidler Municipal Building, City Engineer Jeff Polenske is pouring over designs. He says the city intends to build a modern, state-of-the-art streetcar system.

Milwaukee County Historical Society

As Milwaukee inches closer to building a modern day streetcar system, WUWM kicks off a series, called Streetcar: High Risk, High Reward?

First, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson revisits Milwaukee's old system.

Streetcars are rumbling back to life in cities across the country from Portland to Salt Lake City and Atlanta, with New York becoming the latest city to hop on the bandwagon. But as these new streetcars run into unexpected roadblocks, critics say this mode of transportation might not be the answer to great public transit.

New York City has an ambitious, multibillion-dollar plan to connect Brooklyn and Queens with a streetcar. It would bring convenience to residents from Red Hook, an isolated area cut off from the rest of Brooklyn by water and a major highway.

TheMilwaukeeStreetcar.jpg

Mayor Tom Barrett announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the city a $14.2 million grant to enable construction of the Milwaukee Streetcar's Lakefront Line.  

The Common Council approved the extension in February, along with phase 1 of the streetcar project.

The Lakefront Line will connect Cathedral Square to the lakefront, and will include a stop along the planned Couture development.  Groundbreaking on phase 1 of the project is scheduled for spring of 2016.

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