KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Wednesday is a milestone for the future Kansas City Streetcar. The first truckload of steel rail will be delivered then.
Streetcar pre-construction is already underway in the river market. Stores there said they are thrilled a streetcar is coming to Kansas City. They said the streetcar will be great for business when it's finished, but said right now they're seeing sales drop. They said they never expected work to start this soon.
The public information manager for construction, Meghan Jansen, said right now private utility work is taking place. She said construction will be done in three phases. Jansen said water and sewer work will start in May and last through the summer. Actual street car rail work starts in late August.
Businesses in the river market said they were only given information about work taking place in August and never expected the street in front of their business to be torn up now. "Absolutely things have slowed down," said Lewis Meyers who works at The Folk Store at 5th and Delaware. "It's hard to tell on a Saturday," he said. "Because the market is in full steam and there's no construction going on, but during the week these roads have been closed, the traffic you know the noise, the dust, everything that goes along with it."
Jansen said utility, water and sewer work was always scheduled to take place. A revised schedule with projected dates for the work was updated online just this week. "All of that work are just upgrades and things that needed to be done anyway but the city is taking this opportunity to get them done now before we install the track slab and before we pour the new roadway and start doing that later this year," said Jansen.