The Federal Transit Administration’s approval of a $25 million grant to build the $43 million Loop Trolley in the city of St. Louis and University City is good news for those with a stake in the Loop Data Rail project.
The Loop Data Rail is an initiative that could bring gigabit-speed Internet connection to a two-mile stretch of the Delmar Loop. The project, which has a $1.4 million budget and is funded by stakeholders and building owners in The Loop, is expected to follow the same construction timeline as the Loop Trolley.
As concerns grew over whether the FTA would approve the funding for the Loop Trolley, similar anxiety grew over whether the Loop Data Rail would be completed at all.
With plans now moving forward on the trolley, David Sandel, founder of the Loop Data Rail said he anticipates fiber networks being laid into Delmar Boulevard as early as June.
“Part of the The Loop Trolley construction plan is to build a duct system within The Trolley right of way,” Sandel said. “The Loop Data Rail will use part of the trolley duct system as the backbone for The Loop Data Rail high speed fiber network.”
Using the trolley’s duct system and construction window will save data rail organizers 90 percent of the cost of construction, Sandel said.
St. Louis Business Journal © March 2014