KANSAS CITY, Mo. — KC Streetcar constructors paused work Monday in Segment 7 of the 3.5-mile extension in the area immediately surrounding the NFL Draft. That’s on Main Street between Pershing Road at Union Station and 27th Street.
KC Streetcar constructors said they knew the draft was coming, so they’ve made every effort to clean up this area around Union Station and the World War I Memorial as much as possible.
But you will still see its impacts farther down the road as you approach the NFL Draft site.
Every week for the past year, KC Streetcar contractors have sent out construction updates on the 3.5-mile streetcar line being installed from Union Station to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
As they rip up Main Street to install the track, which is now 40% complete, and associated infrastructure, that often means traffic shifting lanes and new roads closed or harder to find business entrances.
“It’s hard for customers to track it so it does diminish our business a lot,” Main Smoke Shop owner Humza Shahid said.
But as the KC Streetcar has unveiled its new wraps for the NFL Draft and started doing test runs of streetcars dropping off riders in the Crossroads for an 18-minute walk to the entrance, Main Smoke Shop is one of the Main Street businesses worrying extra business from the NLF Draft’s 350,000 visitors will go up in smoke.
KC Streetcar constructors concentrated early efforts to make sure construction reached a point areas around the NFL Draft are safe from hazards for pedestrians. But streetcar construction will continue south of 27th or 31st streets on Main Street throughout the NFL Draft.
All but one of the more than 50 listed park and walk spots are on the north side of the event, even though everyone will have to enter from the south side. That avoids visitors coming into downtown from the south on Main Street through the construction.
“My husband’s office is in the Crossroads, so I’ll park there. Get there by the 71 Highway and not drive on Main. Hopefully people coming to Kansas City won’t be thrown off that Main is a huge really long construction zone,” Theresa Cole said.
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The goal is for the $351 million extension to be done before the city’s next mega event — the World Cup in 2026. But some riders FOX4 spoke with were disappointed the KC Streetcar won’t get them any closer to the NFL Draft.
A spokesperson for KC Streetcar said it would have loved to be able to bring riders all the way to Union Station, but it just wasn’t possible because of the large security perimeter.