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  #801  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2021, 1:03 AM
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Just sharing a little article that I saw about some of MDOT's accomplishments in 2020. Project highlights mentioned in the article include -
  • 100th Street Bridge rebuild over US-131 in Kent County
  • I-96 / I-196 flip project in Grand Rapids / Kent County
  • I-75 modernization project in Oakland County
  • US-131 rebuild in St. Joseph County
  • M-28 rebuild in Alger County
  • I-496 rebuild (from I-96 / I-69 interchange to Lansing Road) Lansing
  • M-204 bridge over the Leelanau Narrows in Leelanau County
  • M-28 rebuild and resurface in Munising, including a new roundabout at Highway 58, a shared-use path, utility upgrades, and streetscape improvements.

Quote:
MDOT Overcomes Year of Challenges, Delivers Vital Transportation Projects
Construction Equipment Guide | Midwest Edition #1
January 05, 2021

The challenge-filled 2020 construction season is over. MDOT and industry partners were able to adapt and overcome many obstacles to deliver vital transportation projects and continue working toward the goal of providing the highest quality integrated transportation services for economic benefit and improved quality of life...More than 100 projects were completed, improving the transportation system across the state...
Photo Highlights -

100th Street Bridge rebuild over U.S.-131 in Kent County -


I-96 / I-196 flip project in Grand Rapids / Kent County -


I-75 modernization project in Oakland County -

Source: Construction Equipment Guide
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  #802  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2021, 8:12 PM
Thirteen Mile Thirteen Mile is offline
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Good to see interest by a major corporation in the 110 year old tunnel despite its inability to carry double deck container traffic, as well as finished vehicle shipments such as trucks and suv’s. Before the Gordie Howe Bridge project came to fruition there were a series of plans seriously considered such as digging a new tunnel along side the existing one and converting the old tunnel into a freight truck exclusive entity. CP has been leasing room the CN tunnel in Port Huron for its much of its cross border traffic, although it will continue for the foreseeable future to lease space for heavy traffic.

Quote:
CP completes purchase of Detroit River Rail Tunnel

Progressive Railroading
12/23/2020

Canadian Pacific announced yesterday it has completed its acquisition of an 83.5% stake in the Detroit River Rail Tunnel from certain affiliates of OMERS, the benefit pension plan for Ontario municipal employees.

CP previously owned a 16.5% stake in the tunnel. The purchase price for the remaining stake is $312 million, subject to closing adjustments, CP officials said in a press release.

The Class I announced in October that it would acquire full ownership of the 1.6-mile tunnel, which links Windsor, Ontario and Detroit. The acquisition will reduce the railroad's operating costs related to traffic movements through the tunnel, CP officials have said.
https://www.progressiverailroading.c...-Tunnel--62318

Last edited by Thirteen Mile; Jan 23, 2021 at 6:15 PM.
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  #803  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2021, 1:35 PM
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Here's a recent photo of the ~ 4-mile-long tunnel that is a key part of the I-75 modernization project in Oakland County. The scale of this is crazy. You can literally drive a car through this drainage tunnel (is Elon Musk following this thread?)

For a little more money, they could have just built a subway from downtown Detroit to the north suburbs


Souce: Instagram | @mdotpicoftheday
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  #804  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2021, 10:50 PM
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Of course there's more to a subway than just the tunnel, but seeing this tunnel, that is only about a foot too narrow for a people mover subway, and even seeing rails and a rail switch in it...
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  #805  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2021, 4:39 PM
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Now this is just cool. MDOT's pic of the day - the temporary M-30 bridge being launched over the Tobacco River. This is a modular steel bridge, designed by Acrow Bridge, similar to these -


Source: Instagram | @mdotpicoftheday

Acrow modular bridge example -


Source: Acrow
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  #806  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2021, 5:04 PM
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  #807  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2021, 11:40 PM
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There's an acrow bridge in Chicago, Division street over the Chicago river. It was installed in 2015.
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  #808  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2021, 1:17 AM
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They were all set to pour the concrete when the deep freeze set in. Just waiting for it to warm up a bit now...








Source: Instagram | @mdotpicoftheday
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  #809  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2021, 7:14 PM
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The temporary M-30 bridge over the Tobacco River in Gladwin County is complete -


Source: Instagram | @mdotpicoftheday


Another MDOT project, this one for the new Britain Avenue bridge crossing over US-31 in Benton Charter Township (Berrien County) saw its first beam span installed 2 days ago - a fairly impressive coordination effort requiring two cranes and crews on both ends communicating via walkie talkie -






Source: Instagram | @mdotpicoftheday
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  #810  
Old Posted May 18, 2021, 2:10 PM
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This is pretty exciting, especially when thinking about potential rail infrastructure improvements yet to come in MI -

Quote:
Amtrak to increase train speeds between Kalamazoo and Albion to 110 mph
Wood TV 8 Staff
May 17, 2021

Michigan will soon have the first state-owned rail corridor with passenger trains traveling up to 110 mph. Recent federal approval will allow Amtrak trains to increase speeds on sections of the 45-mile stretch between Kalamazoo and Albion, the company and the Michigan Department of Transportation announced Monday. The change, which comes after infrastructure improvements, will begin May 25. Testing of their train control safety system was successful, officials said.

“We’re going to be going from 79 miles per hour to 110 miles an hour on either side of Battle Creek,” Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari told News 8...
Pontiac / Detroit-Chicago Accelerated Rail Corridor -

Source: Wood TV 8 | MDOT
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  #811  
Old Posted May 28, 2021, 7:13 PM
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Looks like a Detroit to Toronto high speed line is back in the cards it’s fitting considering all the effort that the Canadian government for a new road connection that that the US government chips in for rail.

Here’s the kicker the city did a study in 2019 about bringing back rail service to Michigan Central but right around that time the Ontario government dropped its plans for a Toronto to Windsor high speed corridor after that nothing more
of the study was heard. So now hearing that one of the parties that will need to be brought in for the plan is Ford Motor I think we have reason to hope that Michigan Central will indeed see rail service again!


Quote:
Amtrak just laid out new plans for a Detroit to Toronto train

BlogTO
Arianna Kyriacou
April 2021


Quote:
Amtrak first proposed a link between Detroit and Toronto in 2019, but didn't make much progress due to the $1.8 billion budget request to the U.S. federal government. With Biden's recent plan, the plan is looking more possible.

However, there are still some issues with implementation. Amtrak would need consent from a few different transportation companies, such as CP Rail, Via Rail, the Michigan Department of Transportation and Ford Motor Company.
https://www.blogto.com/travel/2021/0...toronto-train/


Quote:
Amtrak’s bold expansion plan would create daily Chicago-Toronto round trip, increase service to Detroit, Milwaukee

Chicago Sun Times
Tom Schuba
May 27, 2021
Quote:
But the bold plan hinges on an initial $75 billion in federal funding over the next 15 years. In a letter Wednesday to Congress, Amtrak CEO William Flynn urged lawmakers to support separate pieces of legislation providing “dedicated, predictable, and sufficient funding” and preventing freight trains from stymying Amtrak service.

....

Double the number of round trips between Chicago and Detroit to six each day, extending one high-speed train to Toronto, Canada;
https://chicago.suntimes.com/platfor...roit-milwaukee
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  #812  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2021, 4:17 AM
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Big news for passenger rail service in Detroit MDOT wants to build a true Amtrak station in midtown to replace the temporary one dating from the early 90’s after the closure of Michigan Central. A whole complex of surrounding the site made up of mixed use developments and intermodal stops Detroit will finally have a true and worthy train station.

Denver’s Union Station was held up as a model to emulate although the Woodward location doesn’t have enough space however Michigan Central is mentioned as
as the place where something like that could be done depending on Fords plans.

Another juicy tidbit about rail service returning to Michigan Central hints at the building being used as the a potential equal to the
New Center station. At the very least due to its location and the layout of tracks and nearby rail tunnel. With the Wolverine line continuing its upgrades to have a true high speed line from Chicago to Detroit the future of rail service at MCS is looking like it really may come to fruition.

Quote:
MDOT wants to transform Detroit's 'cramped' Amtrak station into $57M hub with retail, more

ERIC SEALS
Detroit Free Press
12-14-2021

Quote:
The Biden administration has announced a $10 million grant — money not connected to the recently passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill — to help fund the Michigan Department of Transportation's longtime goal of building a new train station. The aim is a station that would not only provide a more fitting gateway to the Motor City for rail passengers but one that would also bring other modes of transportation, including buses operated by Greyhound and Indian Trails, taxi and ride-hailing services such as Lyft and Uber, as well as bike-sharing, into a centralized hub just west of Woodward Avenue.

The Detroit New Center Intermodal Facility would be built at the current train station location on Baltimore Street and add a new, enclosed intercity bus station to replace the one about 3 miles away on Howard Street near the Lodge Freeway. Access to more transportation options is considered key for the New Center neighborhood, where, according to MDOT, one in three households does not have access to a car.

….

Currently, Schultz said the goal is to have a request for proposal to build the center issued in 2023 with an opening date in 2025.

….

… There have been discussions between the state and Ford about Michigan Central's use as a train station once again, but it is unclear when something might develop on that front. Both projects, Guidinger said, could exist together, with Michigan Central providing an eventual direct passenger connection to cities in Canada.
https://amp.freep.com/amp/6450600001
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  #813  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2021, 5:25 PM
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My first thought is that it's a mistake to have two separate Amtrak stations, but consolidating at Michigan Central makes the Wolverine routing to Pontiac pretty awkward. The current routing works well and gives Oakland County a one-seat ride to Chicago, not just Detroit.

I think the ideal future has more Wolverine trains, with some going to Michigan Central and some going to New Center/Pontiac. Then you could get an overlay of commuter rail from Pontiac-New Center-Michigan Central, and from Ann Arbor to Michigan Central. Add a streetcar or people-mover extension to connect Michigan Central to downtown the way the QLine connects to New Center, and that's a pretty robust transit network.
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  #814  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2021, 4:31 AM
Thirteen Mile Thirteen Mile is offline
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Yeah I had the same first thought too as you say the current new center station is positioned better as an regional hub. Right now that’s only the Pontiac line but there have been proposals for a Mt Clemens line though currently deferred. For convince and ease of service for northern and eastern burbs new center makes sense. MCS is better positioned for trains coming down the HSR corridor from Chicago and as it’s looking Toronto.

Getting into the nitty gritty right now the scale of regional commuter rail doesn’t really justify separate local and regional stations however expanding wolverine service is gaining traction. Service to Toledo is being reestablished making MCS the first stop in the city from that line which would conceivably include traffic from the east coast.

Once I looked at it this way the over all picture is brighter a series service of configurations have been proposed to connect southern cities with up north destinations. Expanded statewide commuter service would open up the SE MI corridors to commuter there by facilitating potential new local stops. MCS is well positioned for commuters going up north via a Lansing and or Grand Rapids route and locals from the Western and NW burbs.

It does seem if more lines are added there’s no reason why having two Detroit stations wouldn’t be an issue or a detriment to bringing service back to MCS. There’s a lot of potential at the moment with many moving pieces if more lines are added MCS could once again be a major station or it could end up being used exclusively as the Detroit stop on the Chicago to Toronto (+?) HSR.
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  #815  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2022, 1:42 PM
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It looks like with the merger of Kansas City Southern and Canadian Pacific now official, Amtrak's plans to add a Detroit-Toronto train are coming closer to reality.

Detroit to Toronto by train plan gets boost with Amtrak agreement

Quote:
Amtrak, which provides much of the passenger rail service in the United States, said it has gotten a commitment of cooperation for its own expansion plans from Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, which has a $25 billion acquisition deal with Kansas City Southern.

Amtrak said its plans include adding passenger rail service through the Detroit River Tunnel connecting Detroit and the cities of Windsor and Toronto in Ontario through VIA Rail Canada. Connecting Toronto via Detroit with Chicago and its many connections could go a long way toward improving service for U.S. rail passengers, who currently deal with a rail network that leaves many cities without direct connections.
https://www.freep.com/story/travel/m...nt/9135948002/
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  #816  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2022, 5:34 PM
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I read this a couple of days ago and wonder what the merger had to do with anything?
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  #817  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2022, 6:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subterranean View Post
I read this a couple of days ago and wonder what the merger had to do with anything?
I think Amtrak will advocate for the merger to be approved due to the agreement on using the Detroit River Tunnel.
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  #818  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2022, 1:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen Mile View Post
Looks like a Detroit to Toronto high speed line is back in the cards it’s fitting considering all the effort that the Canadian government for a new road connection that that the US government chips in for rail.

Here’s the kicker the city did a study in 2019 about bringing back rail service to Michigan Central but right around that time the Ontario government dropped its plans for a Toronto to Windsor high speed corridor after that nothing more
of the study was heard. So now hearing that one of the parties that will need to be brought in for the plan is Ford Motor I think we have reason to hope that Michigan Central will indeed see rail service again!







Off topic, but I am amazed that half of those new blue spurs could even support the ridership. I'm a big supporter of rail, but some of these seem like a pretty big stretch.

I would much rather see that money spent toward a few very well traveled lines getting an appreciable increase in speeds. Once we have an actual rail network in place that is both fast and reliable, then we can spread out into these much smaller markets. This seems pretty frivolous.
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  #819  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2022, 1:40 AM
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Has there ever been plans for a NYC - Toronto line? I don't think I remember anything of the sort.
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  #820  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2022, 2:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAC123 View Post
Has there ever been plans for a NYC - Toronto line? I don't think I remember anything of the sort.
You mean a NYC - Toronto HSR line? The Maple Leaf (which is kind of awful, honestly) already runs this route.

I've seen some proposals for such an HSR line, but nothing serious. Both countries have better routes to work on before such a line should be considered.
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