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      Construction begins on Detroit light rail project

      Construction is starting on a long-awaited commuter light rail project linking downtown Detroit to the city's New Center area.

      Woodward Avenue from Adams Street south to Campus Martius will be closed about 120 days for M-1 Rail work. The roadway was shut Monday.

      Crews will remove concrete, install rail tracks, perform drainage work, and do repaving and utility relocation. Work typically will be done between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Sidewalks will remain open.

      The 3.3 mile, $140-million streetcar project is scheduled for completion in late 2016. It will have 16 curbside and four median passenger stations. It is expected to spur economic and job growth along the Woodward Corridor.

      The federal government has committed $25 million. Other funding comes from foundations and businesses.