Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Construction looms for St. Louis Loop Trolley

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Groundbreaking for the $43 million Loop Trolley project is expected to begin later this summer, according to Joe Edwards, a businessman in St. Louis' Delmar Loop district and chairman of the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District.

"I am relieved and excited," Edwards told local media after a special City Council meeting addressing the issue concluded on Monday, June 30, 2014. "Work should begin this summer on utility relocations and other preliminary work."

Council members reportedly gave unanimous approval to a trolley construction, maintenance and operations agreement, and a permanent easement pact, both of which Edwards said allow the trolley district to solicit bids and award construction contracts for the 2.2-mile project.

The Loop Trolley route would include nine stations, connecting with two Metrolink light rail transit (LRT) stops at Forest Park and Delmar Loop stations. Two GOMACO-built vintage trolleys acquired from Portland's TriMet will provide service.

Dogged by lawsuits and delays throughout 2013, the Loop Trolley late last year gained preliminary approval by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The majority of a federal grant package totaling $25 million also was at risk during 2013, as FTA expressed concerns about the project's progress, most of which were addressed to FTA's satisfaction as 2013 ended.