Commuters who use Delmar Boulevard to get between University City and St. Louis will need to temporarily find an alternate route starting Monday.
The intersection of Delmar Boulevard and Kingsland Avenue on the western edge of Delmar Loop will be closed for the next three weeks while contractors put in a switch for the Loop Trolley.
“The goal by the contractor is to have it open before July 4th because the fireworks are going to be held again in Forest Park,” Loop developer Joe Edwards said. “It won’t interfere with Fair St. Louis, and actually it’s not going to interfere much with people’s transportation needs. People can come over Skinker to Delmar and go east or west this whole time.”
Edwards said this will be the last major road closure to put down tracks; he’s waiting until another construction project closes Forest Park Parkway later this summer to lay the final section of track.
“That will be the last major intersection crossed by the trolley tracks — without inconveniencing drivers because it will already be closed by another project,” Edwards said, adding that construction of the tracks should be complete by late summer or early fall.
Plans are also coming together for safety testing to start this fall. Edwards recently purchased five trolley cars from Seattle and Portland. Two of them arrived in St. Louis last week.
“I think people are really, really going to enjoy riding them and seeing them just to see the craftsmanship, the beautiful wood seating and the brass touches throughout the trolleys, it’s just amazing. And some of these were built between 1923 and 1956,” Edwards said.
The Loop Trolley is slated to open to the public next spring.
Edwards credits the multi-modal transportation elements of the trolley with attracting development to the neighborhood, including plans for a new apartment complex on the east side of the Pageant concert hall, at 6161 Delmar Blvd.
Follow Camille Phillips on Twitter: @cmpcamille.