loop trolley

The groundbreaking for the Loop Trolley took place Thursday.
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

With bands, balloons, and the clang of a bell, the Loop Trolley project officially broke ground on Thursday.

(Missouri History Museum)

The Missouri History Museum’s long-vacant Delmar Boulevard property — whose purchase contributed to the departure of former Missouri History Museum head Robert Archibald — will finally be put to use.

The Museum’s board of trustees has granted a license to use the land at 5863 Delmar to St. Louis’ Loop Trolley Development District.

Loop trolley 2010
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Updated at 4:18 p.m. with plaintiffs' spokesman Tom Sullivan's comments.

The track has been cleared for the University City Loop Trolley after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Monday.

The suit had been filed in November by four plaintiffs, including former University City Council Member Elsie Glickert. (Here's our story about the lawsuit from back in November.)

Loop trolley 2010
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

The federal government has awarded a $25 million “urban circulator grant’’ for the planned trolley system that would run from University City’s Loop district through Forest Park.

The grant was among only five awarded nationally, and would cover more than half the cost of the estimated $43 million project.

“This really is an exciting honor for the entire St. Louis region, more than Forest Park and The Loop,” said Joe Edwards, owner of Blueberry Hill and the Moonrise Hotel, in a statement. Edwards had first proposed the project 17 years ago.

(Missouri History Museum, St. Louis)

Trolleys are making a comeback across the country from Seattle to Tampa with promises of economic development and walkable neighborhoods.

In St. Louis an effort to bring the fixed tracks back to University City’s Delmar Loop began in 1997.

After the $44 million project landed a big federal grant, it seemed St. Louis would be home to trolleys again.

But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports the proposed Loop Trolley has hit some bumps.

(Missouri History Museum)

A federal lawsuit filed last week could create serious delays for the U-City Loop Trolley project.

It alleges that the vote taken to create the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District violated both state and federal laws.

Four individuals, including former University City Councilwoman Elsie Beck Glickert, filed the suit claiming it was unconstitutional to allow non-resident property owners to vote and weighting that vote based on the number of acres they owned.

(Missouri History Museum)

St. Louis has a long had a special relationship with the trolley.  It’s a relationship immortalized by actor and singer Judy Garland in the film Meet Me In St. Louis

Currently, there are independent efforts in St. Louis to revive the presence of a trolley, or as some proponents say, streetcar. 

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Criminal case against Kansas City Bishop to reach swift end today

The criminal case against the highest-ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to be charged with shielding an abusive priest is poised to reach a surprisingly fast end. Jackson County, Mo., prosecutors and attorneys for Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn have agreed to have a judge hear their case today, weeks ahead of a scheduled jury trial date.

Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph are each charged with a misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse.

(Missouri History Museum)

The Loop Trolley project has received a boost of funding to help propel its construction process, according to the Missouri History Museum.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

There usually isn't much of a market for old streetcars, many of which were built in the 1920s. And the ones you can find are usually in pretty bad shape.

So when officials from the Loop Trolley project got a tip that five well-maintained cars were sitting in storage in Seattle, they headed west to investigate - and liked what they saw, said project manager Doug Campion.

"The fact that it's a full fleet, my goodness," Campion said. "This could be very good for us, very helpful."

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