MILWAUKEE -- After years of debate, the Milwaukee streetcar has finally started construction. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett -- along with students from Bradley Tech High School -- held an event to kick of the rail work on Friday, April 7th.
Just before noon, the group celebrated the beginning of what will be a major project.
"Once the streetcar starts running, once you've got that transit, then the debate changes to how can we get this extended," said Barrett.
About six construction workers were welding 80 foot long steel rails together to create a bigger one stretching 320 feet. While on the other side of a metal divider was aspiring construction workers from Bradley Tech.
"Right now I have a welding class which is the main reason why we came here. It's a great experience to see it actually going on in the real world and how it's used," said Angel Gonzalez, Bradley Tech High School junior.
"I love talking to them and telling them what I do and try to help them out because it always helps if you get the right input at the right time," said Ari Lee, construction worker.
Students there say that projects like this mirror what they've been learning in the classroom. And with the mayor saying that he will push for this project to expand once it's completed. The students see job security.
"I hope that once in the future I'm able to do something like this. I'm practicing right now on my welds and going and hoping to get better," said Gonzalez.
Construction workers say it's going to take thousands of rail segments they're going to have to piece all together before the final project gets up and running. We're told it will be some time in late 2018.