St. Louis — Groundbreaking Planned
St. Louis will get its first street railway line since 1966 when the Delmar Loop heritage trolley project begins construction in March, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The last time streetcars ran on city streets was when Bi-state operated the final streetcar line, Hodiamont, which ran mostly on private right of way. Route 15-Hodiamont ended as rail on May 21, 1966.
The 2.2-mile, $43 million Delmar project is at University City, a St. Louis inner ring suburb. The Delmar line has leased two Gomaco-built replica Brill semiconvertibles for 10 years from Portland, OR. The regional transit authority, TriMet, will operate the new car line. It's possible that one of the two Gomaco-rehabilitated ex-Milan single-ended Peter Witt cars bought for static displays to promote the Delmar line may be converted to double ended (bi-directional) operation for operation on the line.
Project leaders say construction is scheduled to be completed in mid-2016 and that service should begin in late 2016. A notable improvement to the neighborhood will be a permanent traffic circle near the Lion Gates at Trinity Avenue and Delmar Boulevard, designed to increase safety, improve traffic flow, and create an attractive entrance to the Loop, according to Chris Poehler, administrator of the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District.
Track construction is expected to begin in late May, with the first rails appearing on Delmar near Kingsland Avenue. Traffic will continue to flow during construction.
The 2.2-mile line will have 10 passenger stops along Delmar and DeBaliviere Avenue, connecting The Loop to the Missouri History Museum.
Key funding comes from a 1-cent sales tax inside the district's boundaries, supplemented by tax credits, grants, tax-increment financing and private contributions.