Detroit light-rail system to move full-speed ahead

Detroit light-rail system to move full-speed ahead

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DETROIT (WJBK) -- After many starts and stops, a proposed light-rail system for Detroit is finally moving full-speed ahead.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Friday that the federal government is ready to spend $25 million toward the M1 Rail line that would link the city's downtown and the cultural, medical and educational center a few miles north.

Play the video in the player to get a full report from Fox 2's Robin Schwartz>>

LaHood was joined by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Gov. Rick Snyder, U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and others at a morning announcement on the campus of Wayne State University.

He called it "a day of celebration for this city."

LaHood's announcement clears the way for six streetcars to run 3.3 miles along Woodward from Congress to Grand Boulevard with 11 stops in between. LaHood has been in talks for months with city, state and regional officials on their part of the deal that's expected to cost around $140 million.

"We will finish M1. We will create a regional transportation authority with new buses, new facilities and think of what this will do for this region," said LaHood, who was in the Motor City for the 13th time under the Obama administration. "This will become an economic engine."

The project is expected to create 2,000 new jobs.

No specific dates were given, but the M1 Rail construction is expected to get underway this spring and be completed by 2015.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

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