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Below-ground work starts on Detroit light rail

M-1 Rail Detroit

DETROIT (AP) - Below-ground utility relocation is underway on a 3.3-mile light rail system that will run from Detroit's riverfront to the city's New Center area.

Officials for the M-1 Rail say crews are moving or replacing water catch basins, storm manholes and water main gate valves along Woodward Avenue.

The work is the initial step toward full construction activities on the streetcar system and is not expected to prevent customer access to local businesses.

M-1 Rail chief operating officer Paul Childs says relocating underground utilities will "allow the project to move rapidly once track construction along Woodward Avenue begins next year."

The $140 million streetcar line is scheduled to start running in late 2015. The federal government has committed $25 million to the project.

The route will include stations and curb-side stops.

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