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Despite Lawsuit and Deadlines, Loop Trolley Plan Remains on Track

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A photo of a Portland Vintage Trolley at 5th Avenue and Montgomery Street in downtown Portland, Oregon. (Photo via Wikipedia)

A photo of a Portland Vintage Trolley at 5th Avenue and Montgomery Street in downtown Portland, Oregon. (Photo via Wikipedia)

calhoun2 Michael Calhoun
A native St. Louisan, Michael Calhoun grew up listening to the Voice...
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UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOX) - The clang of a trolley, long a part of St. Louis lore, may be heard again in the Delmar Loop as soon as 2015.

Groundbreaking is planned for the spring with an opening scheduled for one year later, says Joe Edwards, chairman of the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District.

Edwards says lawsuits filed by opponents upset with the process won’t halt the work.

“It’s a great country where people can file lawsuits when they have a disagreement over something but I don’t think it will hold anything up. I’m very optimistic about the outcome and we’re going ahead,” he said.

Elsie Beck Glickert, a former University City council member, argues in the lawsuit that the trolley plan was improperly voted on and would lay track beyond the boundaries originally set.

Edwards says that Federal Transit Administration deadlines were met (ensuring $22 million in federal funding). Trolley organizers have accepted bids for the construction and he expects to choose a contractor in the next three weeks.

“I hope once the bids come back in and they’re within the range that our consultants have consistently told us they would be, then we’ll get the green light at that time,” he explains.

The 2.2-mile trolley track will run from the U. City Lions in the west end of the Loop to the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.

On December 11, a transportation board in Portland, Oregon agreed to lease two trolleys to the Loop for ten years at a cost of $80,000. The trolleys are two decades old but designed to look like the 1903 Brill Streetcar which ran in Portland for the first half of the 20th century.

Reporter Michael Calhoun: mrcalhoun@cbs.com, Twitter.com/michaelcalhoun.

Justin Wingerter: justin.wingerter@cbsradio.com, Twitter.com/justinwingerter

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