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Milwaukee Mayor announces streetcar expansion

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Updated: 4:27 p.m. May 2, 2019

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's streetcar system has been in place for about six months and on Thursday, Mayor Tom Barrett announced plans for an expansion of the service. 

The extension is going to cost more than $46 million, but Mayor Barrett says they have the support to make it happen. 

The expansion would bring the streetcar out to the Bronzeville and Walker's Point neighborhoods. it would extend the streetcar route to the Wisconsin Center District Convention Hall, just in time for the 2020 Democratic National Convention. 

The first phase would extend the existing M Line north along Vel R. Phillips Avenue and Fifth Street to Wisconsin Avenue. 

The Mayor says it's going to be a challenge but will benefit the city by connecting its neighborhoods. 

"It's an exciting day. Again, what I have said all along is that I want to bring the streetcar to Milwaukee's neighborhoods. So we are bringing it north to Bronzeville, we're going to bring it south to Walker's Point because we think it's important that people in the neighborhoods close to the heart of the city can benefit from this as well," Mayor Barrett said. 

Alderman Bob Donovan, a longtime critic of the streetcar project, promised to oppose the expansion and released a statement saying in part, "What I cannot get over is that, with basic services slipping and neighborhoods crumbling, Mayor Barrett chooses this precious moment of optimism and hope to pursue the most divisive policy imaginable."

Construction would begin in the fall of 2019 and finish in the spring of 2020, just in time for the DNC.

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Posted: 12:57 p.m. May 2, 2019 

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's streetcar, The Hop, could be expanding. 

The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Mayor Tom Barrett will seek approval to extend the streetcar system to Wisconsin Avenue, ahead of the Democratic National Convention in 2020. 

The Mayor also wants to plan for more long-term expansions into the Third Ward and Bronzeville. 

A news conference about the streetcar is expected Thursday afternoon. Stay with CBS 58 on-air and online for updates. 

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