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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nearly 700 tons of rail is headed to Kansas City this week. It’s all for the new streetcar extension down Main Street, taking the route to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Delivery of the rail is happening in segments; it started Tuesday morning and is expected to take two weeks. Four trucks per day will make the trip to 27th and Main streets, where the rail is being stored, for a total of 36 deliveries.

Once all the rail has arrived, crews will start welding it together into 400-foot sections. The rail comes from Pueblo, Colorado, and has been recently stored in Kansas City, Kansas. Each rail stick is 80 feet long and weighs 3,100 pounds. 

If you live, work or commute around Main Street and Midtown, expect more traffic impacts to start this week.

During delivery and welding, traffic on Main Street will be temporarily reduced. Grand Boulevard will also be closed between Main Street and Warwick Trafficway. Main Street and Grand Boulevard will reopen for about four weeks once rail welding is complete.

The team behind the streetcar extension has set up an interactive streetcar construction map, which will be updated as the project progresses. It shows impacts to drivers, pedestrians and parking along Main Street.

Of course, construction on Main Street is nothing new. Drivers have likely seen the preliminary work for the Main Street extension, which has been going on for over a year. Crews have been updating the city’s water and sewer system along the new route. 

With the delivery of the new rail, crews plan to start construction near the Trolley Track Trail in mid-January.

The official groundbreaking will be held sometime in the first quarter of 2022. An official date hasn’t been released yet. The new, 3.5-mile extension is expected to open in 2025.

KC Streetcar Constructors — which is made up of Herzog Contracting Corp. and Stacy and Witbeck, and supported by Burns & McDonnell and JE Dunn Construction — is leading construction on the extension.