Loop Trolley Project Gets Final Fed Approval
UNIVERSITY CITY (KMOX) – The Delmar Loop trolley is on track to start laying tracks this spring.
Final approval for the project came Friday from the Federal Transit Administration, which is providing a $25 million grant.
“There are a few tiny things to wrap up for the FTA, but those are in the works and they wouldn’t have released everything if those weren’t, you know, a given,” developer Joe Edwards says.
He expects bids to come back on-budget and hopes to begin construction as early as May. He also thinks the University City council will extend the trolley’s conditional use permit for as long as it takes to get started. The council granted a two-month extension earlier this month.
And what about a pair of lawsuits, filed by disgruntled neighbors?
“I think everything will turn out just fine with the lawsuits—I’d be very surprised if they didn’t,” Edwards says. “Although until they’re settled, you never know. But I expect that to happen fairly soon, hopefully.”
The trolley is planned to run a 2.2-mile route from the lions in the west end of the Loop to the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.
Edwards says he’s focused on “getting this one done and done the right way,” but hopes to see the trolley eventually extended through Forest Park and to the Central West End.
Right now the trolley will be operated with a different fare system from MetroLink and MetroBus, but Edwards says he’s open to cooperation.
“I think five years from now, ten years from now, it could be folded into the Metro system, but I can’t predict that right now,” he said.
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