Study Begins To Take the KC Streetcar Over the River
A collaborative multi-jurisdictional team moves forward with a comprehensive study to connect the existing downtown KC Streetcar line with an extension into North Kansas City.
The Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA), the City of North Kansas City, Missouri (NKC), and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Transportation and the City of Kansas City, Missouri, selected the consultant team led by Kimley-Horn to refresh the feasibility of a streetcar extension over the Missouri River. This study is estimated to be complete by the end of 2022 and estimated to cost $180,000. The Kimley-Horn team is supported by of Economic & Planning Systems (EPS), Venice Communications, TranSystems, and Hg Consult.
The NorthRail Streetcar Study will include the following work:
• Investigation of a preferred river crossing, alignment, and stop locations with a focus on the Heart of America Bridge
• Financial analysis including capital and operating costs, funding sources, and possible federal grant opportunities
• Community engagement and public involvement
At the conclusion of the NorthRail Streetcar Study, there will be a preferred alignment and plan. Simultaneous to this study, KCSA and partners are working to identify funding to advance the preferred plan towards environmental clearance, design, and related construction and operations funding.
The primary study area extends from the existing downtown streetcar line in the River Market, across the Missouri River, to approximately 32nd Avenue in North Kansas City, Missouri. The study area is bounded on the west by the Armour-Swift-Burlington (ASB) Railroad Bridge and the BNSF railroad right of way and on the east by Charlotte and Swift Streets.
“The NKC community has been interested in better connections across the river for many years. This study will help us establish next steps to achieve our vision for thriving and sustainable development,” said NKC Mayor Bryant DeLong.
“We are excited to continue the investigation of a potential streetcar extension north to better connect a rapidly growing North Kansas City and Northland,” said Tom Gerend, Executive Director of the KCSA. “These projects take years to prepare and now is the time to clarify our vision and work to push it forward.”
In 2014, the City of North Kansas City and the City of Kansas City, Missouri, conducted a preliminary study of a streetcar route north of the Missouri River. Information gathered in that preliminary study will also help to inform this process. The initial study was conducted prior to the opening of the existing downtown Streetcar line. Since 2014, the land use and development patterns in NKC have continued to evolve. An extension of the Streetcar system into NKC would support major themes in the City’s 2016 Master Plan, be a strategic investment in the future of NKC, and provide enhanced multi-modal connectivity across the Missouri River.