Detroit — Federal OK
M-1 Rail, the group planning the $137 million, 3.3-mile million modern streetcar project that will operate over the downtown Detroit section of Woodward Avenue, will award a design-build contract May 24, Crain's Detroit Business reported on May 11. The engineering design and construction contract is estimated at $85 million with bids due May 17. Crain's says M-1 Rail has considered piggybacking onto the Cincinnati order with the U.S. subsidiary of Spain-based C.A.F. for six streetcars. C.A.F. will build the cars for Cincinnati at Elmira Heights, N.Y.
The project is being fast-tracked, with construction work planned to start in July or August.
The initial award will be for construction of the 3.3-mile track, overhead, and stations between Hart Plaza and New Center which is estimated to cost $85 million. Of that total, $20 million will be state funds for routine resurfacing of the route to be coordinated with streetcar construction.
Further contracts to be awarded later include aproximately $9.5 million for the operations and maintenance center and an estimated $27 million for six streetcars. M-1 hopes to add on its car procurement to an order underway for another city, to save effort in the bidding process and to reduce lead time. A strong contender would be to tack its order onto the five cars being built for Cincinnati at CAF USA's plant in Elmira, N.Y.
Annual operating costs are estimated at $5 million and this responsibility will be put out to bid to find a private sector vendor as used in many other cities.