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updated: 7/26/2011 2:31 PM

Milwaukee moves closer to downtown streetcar line

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Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee is big step closer to getting a modern streetcar line downtown.

Milwaukee aldermen voted Tuesday to approve the proposal. The measure is expected to be signed by Mayor Tom Barrett, who has been the plan's chief advocate.

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In a statement, Barrett says he expects the streetcar to be a catalyst for new economic development.

Barrett's spokesman Patrick Curley says officials will finalize the design and engineering of the 2.1 mile line over the next year and construction is expected to start in 2013.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports ( ) $64.6 million project would be funded by $54.9 million in long-idle federal transit aid and $9.7 million from a tax-incremental financing district.

Fares, parking fees and advertising revenue are expected to cover the $2.65 million annual operating cost.

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