UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KSDK) – The Loop Trolley project took another two steps forward, one step back Monday night.
The city council unanimously approved extending the project's conditional use permit, allowing it to move forward. However, members did not approve the extension for the full amount of time requested.
There have been many concerns about the project in the past, including about its structure and organization. In fact, the federal government threatened to pull the $25 million grant funding the trolley because of those concerns. But, supporters say the issues have been resolved, and the project will improve the local economy, especially since plans include a high speed fiber optic line along the route. Opponents say the project still needs more oversight.
"It could do more damage to The Loop than help it. It's already a situation where The Loop is already incredibly busy with traffic, with pedestrians, with bicyclists, with skateboarders. And now they're going to add a trolley which is going to make it even more congested," said University City native Tom Sullivan.
"I made sure that those concerns were brought," said University City Mayor Shelley Welsch. "And I'm trying to make sure that if the trolley happens, which I believe it will, that it is built in a way that impacts our community as little as possible. I'm trying to make sure that it's done the best way possible."
Another concern over the proposal is the amount of trees being cut down to accommodate it. There are a couple of lawsuits pending against the project, but it is still moving forward. Project managers hope to be breaking ground by this summer.