By Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
October 8, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Earlier this year, the Kansas City City Council approved contracts with two engineering firms, HDR and Burns and McDonnell, for the possible KC Streetcar expansion.

The two contracts totaled roughly $8.1 million and would have been used for route planning, studies of construction obstacles and communication with the public.

At last week’s business session, Ralph Davis, an engineer with the city’s public works department, told the council members that the amount spent on things like websites, public outreach and route planning totaled $1.1 million. In August, Kansas City voters in the proposed Transportation Development Districts voted down a plan that would have extended the downtown streetcar line with three additional routes, one of which was east along Independence Avenue, and added a new Kansas City Area Transportation Authority MAX bus route along Prospect Avenue.

“We asked them to stop work in August,” Davis said.

The contracts broke down to $3.75 million for HDR with $226,667 spent to date and $4.3 million to Burns and McDonnell, with $835,166 spent to date. Davis explained that Burns and McDonnell were paid more because they handled more of the community involvement. Davis said the two companies were compensated for the work they completed and were not paid a “lump sum upfront.” He added the city doesn’t expect any further expenses.

“We’re not moving forward with these projects at this time,” Sherri McIntyre, director of the city’s Public Works Department said.