The KC Streetcar expansion project will extend the service towards UMKC. Credit: Jason Doss.
The KC Streetcar project was the recipient of the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA) KC Community Impact of the Year award. Credit: Kansas City Streetcar Authority..
The Main Street Extension project received a positive rating from the Federal Transit Administration in 2019. Credit: Kansas City Streetcar Authority.

The Kansas City Streetcar in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, US, is proposed to be expanded to provide increased accessibility and connectivity to the commuters.

Key partners in the project include the KC Streetcar Authority (KCSA), the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and the KC Area Transportation Authority.

The proposed KC Streetcar Main Street Extension project, which will involve a southward extension of the streetcar system, was approved by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to transition into the engineering phase of the federal Capital Investment Grants (CIG) New Starts programme in May 2020.

The engineering phase involves the execution of engineering and construction contracts. The project will also receive local funding to support the construction of the extension.

Construction on the project is expected to begin by late 2021 or early 2022, with completion slated for 2025. The estimated investment in the project is $351m, which includes $174m being sought under federal funding.

The project will significantly enhance safety and mobility for the metropolitan area of Kansas City, while also providing options for future connections to regional transit and increasing economic opportunities. In addition, it will provide seamless integration with current and future transit service.

Kansas City Streetcar route and stations

The project will extend the streetcar system south from the existing terminus at Union Station towards the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC).

The 5.8km (3.6 mile) Main Street Extension will include the development of nine new stations, procurement of six vehicles, and expansion of the existing vehicle maintenance facility.

It will link County Club Plaza and the Central Business District, which are two of the biggest employment areas in the region. The route will include 16 streetcar stops on the Main Street connecting key areas such as Midtown, Westport, Museum District and UKMC.

The expansion will connect eight new Midtown stations including 27th Street, 31st Street, 43rd Street, Armour Boulevard, 45th Street, 39th Street, Cleaver II/Ward Parkway and 51st and Brookside Boulevard.

Streetcars on the route will operate every 12 minutes during weekends and every ten minutes during weekdays.

Construction details of Kansas City streetcar extension project

The project development, identification of track and streetcar stop locations, as well as utility relocation works coordination are complete as of mid-2020.

It will also include upgrades to intersections and sidewalks, and road work.

Once the construction is complete, the expansion project will undergo test runs before the commencement of full operations.

Roles of key project partners

City of Kansas City is the project sponsor and grantee for the project and is responsible for overseeing the design and construction of the Main Street Extension.

KCSA will oversee and administer the management and operations of the extension. It is the operator of the existing service and will also operate the extension.

Kansas City Area Transportation Authority’s role involves providing technical, financial, and operations support. It provided funding support for the initial project planning activities.

Contractors involved

The KC Streetcar Southern Extension Technical Services consortium was selected to carry out a study on the Main Street Extension. The consortium is led by HDR and includes Burns & McDonnell, Hg Consult, Trekk Design Group, VSM Engineering, HNTB, Architectural & Historical Research, and Parson + Associates.

A team led by HDR Engineering won the final design contract. The team also comprises Trekk Design Group, Parson + Associates, Hg Consult, Lynchpin Ideas, Custom Engineering and HNTB.

KC Streetcar Constructors (KCSC), along with Burns & McDonnell and JE Dunn Construction, was awarded the contract to serve as construction manager at risk in April 2020. KCSC is a joint venture between Herzog Contracting and Stacy and Witbeck.