UPDATE: Milwaukee applies for $20M grant to extend streetcar

UPDATED: Saturday, April 30, 2016 --- 4:01 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The city of Milwaukee is applying for a $20 million grant to extend a streetcar to the new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

The route extension would run on North Fourth Street from West St. Paul Avenue to West Highland Ave.

Milwaukee Public Works Commissioner Ghassan Korban says the proposed extension also would move the streetcar route closer to Bronzeville.

Korban says the earliest the extension would open would be 2020. The downtown streetcar route is expected to be open for passenger service in 2018, with the lakefront loop opening in 2019.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the northern end of the planned extension would reach the "doorstep" of the new Bucks arena.

The federal grant money would come from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant program.

Copyright 2016: Associated Press
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UPDATED: Monday, October 26, 2015 --- 6:31 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The federal government has awarded the city of Milwaukee $14.2 million to expand a streetcar project.

The U.S. Department of Transportation grant was announced Monday by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1LSGB9G ) reports the money will enable construction of a spur connecting the streetcar with Milwaukee's downtown lakefront.

In February, the Milwaukee Common Council approved the Lakefront Line along with the first phase of the streetcar. The line will link the streetcar with the proposed Couture apartment tower, which has a stop planned.

Barrett says the grant will be used to build the Lakefront Line and to purchase a streetcar that will operate on the line.

The city is close to signing a contract with a streetcar-manufacturing company.

Copyright: Associated Press 2015

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UPDATED: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 --- 10:44 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee City Council has approved a controversial $124 million streetcar connecting downtown and the lower east side.

A motion to reconsider passage of the streetcar failed on Tuesday. It was last approved in January. Opponents gathered petition signatures to block the project and argued the city had a better way to spend its money than a streetcar that would only travel several miles along a fixed route.

But, proponents and business leaders urged the council to move forward with the project because it would stimulate economic development and new jobs.

Mayor Tom Barrett says he expects once the streetcar is built, its routes will be expanded.

Copyright: Associated Press 2015

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Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 --- 6:28 a.m

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Local business leaders are coming forward in support of a proposed $124 million downtown Milwaukee streetcar project.

A coalition of supporters hosted a press conference Monday to voice their opinions and urge the Milwaukee Community Council to move forward with the streetcar. Jeff Joerres, executive chairman of ManpowerGroup, told the crowd he and his fellow business leaders support the project because the streetcar will make new developments easier to access and help stimulate the next wave of economic development and job creation.

This is the third time members of the coalition have spoken out in support of the project before important council votes. The council delayed final approval of the project in December and again in January.

The Common Council is expected to vote on the proposal Tuesday.

Copyright: Associated Press