Lewis Diuguid

Great progress taking place on streetcar construction in Kansas City

Orange cones and barriers are still sprinkled throughout downtown, but progress certainly can be seen everywhere on the 2-mile streetcar system.

A new report shows that 71 percent of the track, or 15,430 feet of 21,771 total feet is in place. The tires of cars dance around the track set in the new concrete pavement.

The report said 96 percent of the water and sewer replacement pipes and upgrades are in place and are functioning beneath the surface. In addition, 77 percent of the work on the Singleton Yard vehicle maintenance facility is done.

More than 100 poles to power the streetcar have been installed, and the first streetcar stop with its elevated platform is in place at 16th and Main streets with a second under construction across the street.

Construction, which has been a headache for businesses and people who frequent downtown, is to be done in the fall. Testing on the streetcars will follow.

The first riders should be able to step aboard and ride from Crown Center to the River Market in 2016. That will make downtown a lot more exciting for residents and visitors.