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The North Loop stops of the downtown KC Streetcar line are getting a makeover.
Construction will begin later this month at the North Loop section of the downtown KC Streetcar line when crews prepare the sites for the placement of two new shelters. When originally designed, the downtown line included sixteen streetcar stops but only thirteen of those stops had shelters, with North Loop Northbound and Southbound and Metro Southbound being the only streetcar stops without shelters.
The North Loop is located at 7th & Main Street between the River Market and Central Business District areas. It is also the site for other development projects including the new McCownGordon office building construction and the “Flashcube” building redevelopment.
“The ridership at both of the North Loop streetcar stops has greatly exceeded our expectations and has become an important boarding location for both nearby residents and visitors to the City Market and those attending special events at the Convention Center and Sprint Center,” said Tom Gerend, executive director, KC Streetcar Authority. For 2018, more than 108,000 riders used both North Loop stops to access the KC Streetcar.
The North Loop construction includes the demolition of portions of the existing concrete base and seat wall at each platform stop in order for the base to structurally support and accommodate the new shelters. The adjacent sidewalk will be impacted but pedestrian access will remain throughout construction. Construction is planned to occur primarily from the back-side of each platform and is not expected to interfere with KC Streetcar or vehicular traffic in the northbound or southbound directions.
Construction will begin at the North Loop Southbound stop (west side of Main Street). Once complete, crews will begin work on the North Loop Northbound stop (east side of Main Street). The new shelters’ design and size are the same as the existing large streetcar shelters, which are 8 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
The North Loop stops will remain open during most of construction except when the shelter is physically placed and secured to each platform. During this time, the North Loop stops will be closed to streetcars and passengers. Riders will be directed to use alternate stops such as the Library Northbound and Southbound stops or the other North Loop stop on the opposite side of the street. Construction is anticipated to take 7-9 weeks for both North Loop streetcar stops.
Work is being performed by Dimensional Innovations, a Kansas City-based design and manufacturing company who also created the current shelters on the downtown streetcar line. Other contractors involved are Freeman Concrete Construction, Heartland Fabrication & Machine, and Mark One, all local companies. The project is being managed by the City of Kansas City Missouri’s Public Works Department.
The North Loop shelters were a deferred element of the original project’s construction. Remaining funds from the system’s construction are covering the shelter costs.