A quarterly update on the KC Downtown Streetcar

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The Inside Track

A quarterly newsletter from your KC Downtown Streetcar Team | Fall 2014
In this newsletter...
Shop and Dine the Route
Main Street, from Crossroads to the River Market, is open for business! Shop and dine the route to support local businesses during construction. For a complete listing of establishments, promotions and resources for navigating Downtown go to or use one of the links below:  

Downtown Events
Downtown Business Promotions
Parking Information
Water and Sewer Upgrades
In the late 1800s, Kansas City embarked on its first public works project, bringing sewers and fresh water to downtown. After more than 100 years, it is now time to modernize that water and sewer system.
Kansas City’s Water Services Department is investing $24 million to replace and rehabilitate the water infrastructure in the downtown area. The streetcar project has allowed the City a great opportunity to replace the century-old system while the streets are already under construction – limiting the prolonged inconvenience to residents and accomplishing a much needed upgrade.

In a majority of the areas, the KC Streetcar Constructors (KCSC) is installing the new sewer pipe lines using cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) technology, which allows a new liner to be installed in the sewer pipes without excavating and replacing the entire pipe. This "trenchless technology" creates a new pipe inside the old pipe, without massive excavation, thus saving time, money, and minimizing disruptions to customers.
For the new water line infrastructure, KCSC is using ductile iron pipe, with heavily recycled content. This should serve Kansas City well for another century. 
As of the end of November 2014, roughly 50% of the new water and sewer pipes have been installed and about 30% of the sewer pipe lining is complete. New pipe installation requires excavation, while the sewer pipe lining is “trenchless” – no digging required.  
Track Update
To date, 7,165 feet, or 33% of the total track, has been constructed. This includes track segments south of Truman Road, on 5th Street (top photos) and on Grand Boulevard, including the first curved section connecting 5th and Grand (bottom photo).
Downtown Parking Maps
While on-street parking may be limited at times during construction, Kansas City still has numerous parking lots throughout the River Market, the Central Business District, and the Crossroads District.  Below are three maps to reference the most convenient parking options.
KC Streetcar Gets A New Look
The KC Streetcar Authority approved a final "look" and brand for the new streetcar system. The brand gives the recognizable international streetcar icon a uniquely Kansas City twist with an open, friendly feel. It also gives a nod to the sleek, modern look of the streetcar vehicles Kansas City has ordered.

The streetcar brand identity is also designed to seamlessly integrate with proposed regional branding that will soon unify all transportation in the Greater Kansas City Area under one umbrella. Under the regional branding, the name “KC Streetcar” pairs with the regional name, “Ride KC” to become: “Ride KC Streetcar”.

In the coming months, look for the new brand and fun variations of the logo to start appearing throughout KC Streetcar communications.

Downtown Streetcar Driving Economic Development
There is a proven link between fixed transit such as streetcars and economic growth. For example, according to a 2008 report by the Portland transportation department and Portland Streetcar, Inc., $3.5 billion worth of development occurred within two blocks of the streetcar route since it was chosen in 1997.

In Kansas City, the construction of the downtown streetcar continues to stimulate economic development and investment along and around the route.  For a list of current and planned developments, visit this recent report by the Kansas City Star

To date, more than 13 projects representing more than $250 million in investment are attributed to the streetcar project.  These are projects that have stated that the streetcar was a factor in their investment inside the Transportation Development District boundaries.

An example of one of these exciting projects is an $8 million apartment project at 1914 Main Street in the Crossroads with construction set to begin this fall.  The 44-unit, five-story, apartment-over-retail space which is just north of the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange will be ready for tenants within 12 months of breaking ground.  Linden Street Partners LLC, the Denver-based developer of this project, has previously stated that the streetcar is the big draw to them for building in this area.
Preliminary Hours of Operation 
Once operational, the KC Streetcar will be the most frequent transit service in the region, with streetcars running every 10 minutes during peak weekday periods, seven days a week. During the remainder of the week, streetcars will run every 12 to 18 minutes.

Detailed route schedules will be finalized and released at the conclusion of service and operations testing. The Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA) Board of Directors approved the preliminary operating schedule for the KC Streetcar system at their October 30, 2014 meeting.

Construction Look Ahead
Private Utility Work  will wrap up in Spring 2015.  More than 20 private utility companies including KCP&L and Missouri Gas Energy (MGE) have been working along the KC Downtown Streetcar route in preparation for the construction of the starter- line. This work, such as installing new fiber or making manhole modifications, is necessary to ensure access to the underground utilities after the track slab is constructed. The private utility work is being coordinated by KC Streetcar Constructors in an effort to minimize public impacts and ensure the work is completed in advance of the water and sewer work.   

Water & Sewer Work is anticipated to continue into late Spring 2015. Most of the streetcar route is receiving new water lines. The majority of the sewer mains and laterals (pipes that connect the main line to the buildings) under the future streetcar line will also be upgraded, as most of the current lines are 100-120 years old.
Track Construction will continue in the Crossroads and Power & Light Districts into early 2015, as well as continuing along Delaware St in the River Market area. Two-way traffic will be maintained on Main Street throughout construction. 

An overall construction schedule and map of construction activity by block are available on our website
About the Project
The KC Downtown Streetcar starter line is the next step in developing a more comprehensive transit system for the Kansas City region.

The approved two-mile (4 track miles) north-south KC Downtown Streetcar starter line will travel along Main Street and connect the River Market to Crown Center and Union Station. This modern streetcar is part of an overall transit system for Kansas City, connecting residents, employees and visitors to their homes, jobs, and attractions.  The starter line will include 16 stops, spaced roughly every two blocks.

The project is funded with a combination of sources including a voter-approved sales tax increase, parking assessments and federal funding.
About KC Streetcar Constructors 
KC Streetcar Constructors (KCSC) is the project team building the two-mile KC Downtown Streetcar starter line. KCSC is a joint venture of St. Joseph-based Herzog Contracting Corp. and California rail builder Stacy and Witbeck, Inc.
Copyright © 2014 KC Streetcar Authority, All rights reserved.

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