KC Streetcar resumes after building demolition temporarily stops service

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:52 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2022 at 3:31 PM CST
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UPDATE (3:25 p.m.) — After demolition teams were able to knock down a building at 1519 Main Street, KC Streetcar has resumed operation.

The service had been closed since about 4 p.m. Sunday, after the building was deemed unsafe. To supplement for the Streetcar service, the link bus system was in operation every 20-30 minutes at the Streetcar stops.

The city said people had been setting fires in the vacant building near 16th & Main and it became structurally unsound.

“It was deemed that it could collapse and, in that envelope of collapsing, was our tracks,” said Donna Mandelbaum with the KC Streetcar Authority. “The city does have regulations on a footprint, that they have to keep safe if they have a danger of collapsing, and our tracks were in that.”

The demolition drew a lot of eyes throughout the day. A lot of people who live and work downtown have been ready to see it go. They viewed it as an eyesore that was close to a lot of the new development downtown.

For some, it was kind of fascinating to watch workers safely knock down walls without threatening the street or surrounding buildings.

“You don’t see a building get taken down every day or no streetcars on the tracks, especially for this long,” said Haden Fletcher, who lives downtown. “I hope whatever gets built in its place is something that contributes to the soul of the city rather than a faceless office building.”

Previous coverage is below.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - An incident at a nearby building off 16th Street and Main Street in downtown Kansas City is forcing changes to the KC Streetcar operations Monday.

Northbound Main Street between 16th Street and Truman Road is closed and will be all day and night. Instead, riders will use the Ride KC Transit buses with detours around certain areas as they fix this up.

The link bus system will start Monday at 6:30 a.m., with pickups every 30 minutes, until 10 p.m.

The detour will go around the Kauffman Center northbound stop, while all other stops will be open to passengers.

The incident happened at an adjacent building near the Express Auto Service and Tire building, but the roadway itself is reopened. Traffic was seen going around the barriers in the early morning. It’s not clear exactly what happened. KCTV5 will bring you the latest on that as more information becomes available.

Other changes coming with the streetcar operations moving forward into 2023, the Streetcar Authority, KC Area Transportation Authority, Port KC, and the City of Kansas City, Missouri are hosting a special joint public meeting for the riverfront extension projects on Thursday. That’ll be going from 5 to 7 p.m. At the Port KC headquarters community room on Berkley Plaza.