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Milwaukee applies for $20M grant to extend streetcar to new Bucks arena

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

The route extension would run on North Fourth Street from West St. Paul Avenue to West Highland Avenue, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Milwaukee Public Works Commissioner Ghassan Korban said the proposed extension also would move the streetcar route closer to Bronzeville, a cultural and entertainment district.

“We’re taking one extension at a time,” Korban said.

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

The northern end of the planned extension would reach the “doorstep” of the new Bucks arena. Groundbreaking for the new arena is expected this summer.

The proposed extension would connect key attractions such as existing hotels as well as planned attractions, Korban said.

“The idea all along has been that the original route needs extensions to make the streetcar route more successful and efficient,” he said. “And this is the first next step in terms of having a meaningful extension to add to the success of the streetcar increasing connectivity downtown.”

The $20 million grant would cover about 50 percent of the estimated costs for that extension, Korban said. The federal grant money would come from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant program.

The city in November picked Brookville Equipment Corp. to build its first four streetcars. In April, the city opened bidding for companies hoping to oversee the streetcar project.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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