One year after the arrival of its initial rails near Crown Center, the final delivery is underway near UMKC for the steel required to complete the 3.5-mile long streetcar extension on Main Street.
Trucks will be delivering the 429 rails necessary to build the southern half of the streetcar route during the next couple weeks, according to a press release from the contractor, Kansas City Streetcar Constructors.
They’re being stacked in an island on Brookside Boulevard near the intersection of 49th street. Northbound traffic on Brookside will be closed between 49th and 51st for the next five- to six weeks while the rails are welded into 480-foot long sections.
The Trolley Track Trail will remain open for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Another order of 33 rails are being delivered to the Kite Singleton Streetcar Maintenance Facility near the River Market. The maintenance facility is expanding to accommodate the additional eight streetcars that will operate on the Main Street extension.
The $350 million project is expected to be completed and operational by early 2025. It will join a half-mile extension that’s planned to connect the Berkley Riverfront Park which also is anticipated to open in 2025.
When completed, the combined streetcar route will link the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Country Club Plaza, Midtown, Crown Center, Crossroads, Central Business District, River Market and the KC Current women’s soccer stadium being built on the riverfront.
In addition, the streetcar extension on Main Street will include many features that will not only add rail transit to the corridor, but make it better for pedestrians as well, streetcar officials have said previously.
A sidewalk is planned for the east side of Main by Crown Center as the route climbs the hill from Union Station to the Federal Reserve Bank, and the street will be narrowed from the current six-lanes of traffic to four, leaving an exclusive lane for the streetcar.
Main will be narrowed through the heart of Midtown and sidewalks widened and “green infrastructure” added.
A video depicted how the streetcar will operate on Main Street can be seen here.
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