Milwaukee Composites, a manufacturer of patented phenolic composite floors for mass transit vehicles, is manufacturing and donating $100,000 worth of flooring to Milwaukee’s first five vehicles of the city’s Streetcar project. Streetcars are passenger vehicles that operate on fixed-rail guideways on public streets. The vehicles can operate in shared traffic allowing for the preservation of the majority of on-street parking. The Milwaukee Streetcar vehicles feature low-floor boarding for easy wheelchair, stroller, bike and ADA accessibility. The low floors also make boarding faster and easier for everyone.

The initial 2.5-mile route for the Streetcar system will connect 80,000 downtown workers, 25,000 downtown residents and millions of annual visitors. Milwaukee is the 14th most dense city in the U.S. and the only one of two of 30 cities with the highest density to not have or be planning a fixed-rail transit system.

Last week, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Jeff Kober, president and CEO of Milwaukee Composites Inc., toured the company’s facility to watch firsthand as workers put on the finishing touches to flooring. The company makes phenolic composite panels with patented composite sandwich structure, utilizing a phenolic resin matrix, which is one of the lowest flame-smoke-toxicity (FST) polymers in the industry. Fiberglass structural fabrics are impregnated with phenolic resin and co-cured to lightweight, closed-rigid cell foam core or a lightweight end-grain balsa core during the molding process.

“I’m extremely grateful to Jeff and his employees at Milwaukee Composites for making this top-quality flooring and donating it for Milwaukee’s new streetcar vehicles,” Mayor Barrett said. “The Milwaukee area is fortunate to be home to a growing company such as Milwaukee Composites which employs more than 70 workers and supplies floors and doors for mass transit vehicles around the world.”

The flooring will be shipped to Pennsylvania-based Brookville Equipment Corp., which is manufacturing the streetcars. Milwaukee Composites’ subflooring eventually will be covered with decorative floor covering. Brookville is expected to deliver the first completed streetcar to Milwaukee in early 2018. For updates on the project, visit http://www.themilwaukeestreetcar.com.