KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Streetcar southbound extension hit a green light this week, officially receiving $174 million in federal funding for the project.
Federal and Kansas City, Missouri, officials applauded the funding at a news conference on Friday, calling it a project that will spur economic growth and development.
"Investing in public transportation is investing in mobility and opportunity for Kansas Citians while creating thousands of good-paying jobs along the way,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a news release. "This week’s grant signing ceremony is a wonderful way to start the new year in Kansas City and serves as an exciting signal that the Streetcar expansion project is in full motion."
Part of the total cost for the 3.5-mile extension, estimated at $351.7 million, comes from a funding district approved by voters in 2018. But the streetcar needed the federal funding to pay for the Main Street Extension project.
The Federal Transit Administration said last month that it had signed off on the funding, but it could only be finalized after a 30-day congressional review period.
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri commended the federal funding for the project, saying he will continue to work with local officials "to ensure they have the support they need at the federal level" for the project.
"Extending the streetcar will make Kansas City an even better place to live, work, and visit," Blunt said in a news release. "When this project is complete, more people will be able to take the streetcar to visit attractions, commute to work, shop downtown, and so much more."
The extension of the streetcar, which currently runs from River Market to Union Station, will run south through the Country Club Plaza to the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus. It will include nine stations, as well as improvements to intersections and sidewalks.
Construction could begin in late 2021 or early 2022, with a projected opening date in 2025.
A separate extension that would take the streetcar north to Berkley Riverfront Park received a $14.2 million federal grant in September.