Streetcar utility relocation cost reduced by $6.5 million

WEC Energy Group, city-hired engineer strike a deal

Streetcar rendering on St. Paul.

The engineering firm hired to assist with planning the downtown Milwaukee streetcar project has been able to come to an agreement with WEC Energy Group that will reduce the cost of relocating utilities for the project by $6.5 million.

“Through a ton of hard work, with We Energies, we have reduced the relocation cost,” said Ashley Booth, associate vice president of planning and technical services with HNTB, who gave a brief update to a city committee Friday.

The new cost to relocate the utilities will be $15 million, Booth said.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the city is responsible for the cost of utility relocation for the downtown streetcar system.

Alderman Robert Baumann was quick to point out Friday that the $6.5 million savings will directly benefit the city, although Booth said it is too early to tell who benefits.

The Common Council approved the $124 million downtown streetcar project in February 2015.

The main downtown line is expected to be operational in 2018. Construction bids are expected to be issued in mid-April.

Pennsylvania-based Brookville Equipment Corp. will build the first four streetcar vehicles for $18.6 million.

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