The City of Milwaukee has been awarded a $14.2 million federal grant for construction of a spur connecting the streetcar with the lakefront. The streetcar plan is depicted in this rendering.
By Mary Spicuzza of the Journal Sentinel
Oct. 26, 2015 3:26 p.m.
The City of Milwaukee has been awarded a $14.2 million federal grant for construction of a spur connecting the streetcar with the lakefront.
The U.S. Department of Transportation grant was announced Monday by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.).
The Lakefront Line, which was approved by the Common Council along with the first phase of the streetcar in February, aims to connect Cathedral Square to the lakefront using Broadway and Milwaukee, Michigan and Clybourn streets.
It will link the streetcar to the Couture development, which has a stop planned.
"This critical federal grant for the Milwaukee Streetcar will bring thousands of residents and visitors to major attractions and new developments on Milwaukee's lakefront," Barrett said in a statement. "This announcement builds on the positive momentum we're experiencing in the heart of the city and will also have a significant impact on our neighborhoods, creating hundreds of construction jobs and better connecting our neighborhoods to downtown."
The city is close to signing a contract with a streetcar-manufacturing company. "This is a strong federal investment in 21st-century Wisconsin infrastructure that will put people to work," Baldwin said. "The Milwaukee Streetcar will also help spur significant economic development and improve the quality of life for Milwaukee residents."
Moore also praised the project, saying it would expand Milwaukee's public transportation options while boosting local economic growth. "Economic mobility is vital to our city's future," Moore said. "That's why I've dedicated so much time and effort in securing this multimillion federal grant for the Milwaukee Streetcar project. With this funding, we can expand our city's public transportation options while fostering local economic growth and development."
The grant will be used to build the Lakefront Line and to purchase a streetcar that will operate on the line, Barrett said. Some of the money also will be used to add a second track on St. Paul Ave., between N. 2nd and 5th streets. The extension aims to give riders more flexibility and allow the Lakefront Line to run between the Milwaukee Intermodal Station and the lakefront during special events, such as Summerfest and the Fourth of July, the mayor said.