Milwaukee Streetcar: What's next?

Mayor Barrett admits it himself:  he is wasting no time getting this streetcar project going. In fact, the project is moving forward as soon as next week.

\"The streetcar is going to be a reality,\" said Barrett at a press conference today.

The two and a half mile streetcar route that was approved today extends from the Milwaukee Intermodalstationn on Saint Paul Avenue all the way north to Ogden avenue,for now. 

\"And yes it's going to start in downtown and yes our intent is to move it to the south side, to the north side, to UWM. That is our intent,\" said Barrett.  

Now, the first step begins. The Federal Transit Administration will be in Milwaukee next week to answer all the technical questions and discuss possible expansion.

\"They're going to be here to help us to make sure we're taking the appropriate steps so we can go to final engineering,\" said Barrett.  

A major concern of the businesses we spoke with iswhat'ssgoingg to happen during construction? 

The plan is to break ground and buy the actual streetcars by the end of this year. Barrett says he wants to have things wrapped up by the end of 2017. A long time, but manageable for some business owners in and near the proposed streetcar route. 

\"Unfortunately, were pretty used to construction so if we have to plug away at it  and have a few more years of crazy construction I think we'll survive,\" said Nick Burki, owner of Coquette Cafe. It's in the Historic Third Ward, very close to where the proposed line will be. 

\"I just hope it brings more revenue to the area,\" said salon owner James Kaddatz. 

Tom Cox manages a building on Prospect, just feet from the proposed line and wouldn't mind if the streetcar eventually came his way.

\"I think it will be a good attraction. Certainly you've got the downtown, you've got the beach, Summerfest grounds. I think if they could feasibly make it work and not effect traffic it would be a good idea,\" said Cox. 

Mayor Barrett did say that he would eventually like the streetcar to stop at whatever arena the Milwaukee Bucks will use for their games. 

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