Milwaukee — Who Pays for Utility Relocation
In Milwaukee the Business Journal reported that city officials hope to start construction of their downtown streetcar in the spring 0f 2014 based on a filing recently made to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.
The city is working with utility companies to find ways of reducing the quantity of underground lines that need to be moved to make way for the track. However, attorneys for both sides are lodging cases with the PSC as to which side should pay for the relocation. Each feels the other should pay and there has been some indication that the PSC may force the sides to share costs.
Utilities affected include We Engergies, AT&T Wisconsin, and American Transmission Co.
On December 31, the federal government formally awarded Milwaukee the $51.9 million federal grant that will pay for most of the project. Another $9.7 million is coming from local sources. By the end of this month, the city plans to retain an engineering firm to carry the project forward.
The line is planned to run from Milwaukee's Intermodal Station to the lower east side passing through the city's downtown. The project will be designed so it can in the future expand as far as the airport, college campuses, and Miller Park.
The estimated annual cost of operation is $2.65 million and the target date for beginning operation is summer 2016.