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Kansas City Streetcar Construction In 'Home Stretch'

Cody Newill
Kansas City's downtown streetcar line is nearing its final stages of construction, with tracks expected to be fully laid by mid-summer.

Kansas City's downtown streetcar line is on schedule for its tracks to be fully laid out by mid-summer, according to streetcar officials.

KC Streetcar spokeswoman Donna Mandelbaum says that construction is coming to a head just under a year after the city officially broke ground on the project.

"This summer we'll see the completion of track construction, we'll be finished up on the electrical systems and our station stop construction," Mandelbaum said. "We really are in the home stretch now."

Credit Cody Newill / KCUR
Businesses along the streetcar line have been largely negatively affected by street closures, utility replacements and decreased foot traffic.

Construction hasn't been the easiest process, as many restaurants and businesses have seen fewer customers because of street closures and utility replacements.

David Anderson of the Opera House Coffee and Food Emporium in River Market says it's a relief to see construction coming to an end.

"People were just avoiding the whole area, and I don't blame them," Anderson said. "But we have picked up [business], and the worst part of the construction is, I think, behind us."

Even though track construction will be finished in a few months, the streetcar line will go through a testing process that Mandelbaum says could take up to six months. Barring any severe issues, the streetcar is expected to start carrying passengers by early 2016. 

Here's the exact breakdown of the streetcar's progress:

  • Utility replacements — 96 percent complete.
  • Tracks — 71 percent complete.
  • Vehicle maintenance facility — 77 percent complete.
  • First stop at 16th and Main is complete.
Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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