Loop Trolley construction to begin next month

Construction on the long-awaited Delmar Loop Trolley will begin next month, its organizers said Tuesday.

Initial work on the streetcar, which will run from the Loop to Forest Park, includes rebuilding the existing roundabout at the Lion Gates (Trinity Avenue and Delmar Boulevard).
Construction, which includes the trolley tracks, an overhead contact system, a maintenance facility and rehab of the vintage trolley vehicles, is scheduled for completion in 2016, with service for training and testing beginning late that year, organizers said.

The Loop was home to a streetcar system until 1966.
The new fixed-track electrical trolley system will run along Delmar Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue and have 10 stops.

The project has encountered numerous obstacles, including when initial bids for Joe Edwards’ trolley came in $11 million over budget last year.

According to a spokeswoman for the project, the winning bids for the Loop Trolley include: KCI Construction Company (civil infrastructure for $22.6 million and maintenance facility renovation and substations for $8.9 million) and Wissehr Electrical Contractors (trolley overhead contact system and lighting for $3.8 million).

The $43 million trolley is being funded with a nearly $25 million Federal Transit Administration grant; a 1-cent sales tax within the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District; tax credits; tax increment financing; and private donations.

A U.S. District Court judge in April 2014 dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District, which is developing the trolley. A spokesman for the plaintiffs said the group is still in the process of appealing that decision.

St. Louis Business Journal ©February 2015

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