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Loop Trolley Lawsuit Dismissed

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.)

It claimed a vote taken back in 2007 to create the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District was unconstitutional because those with more property got more votes.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. dismissed the case Monday citing a "lack of subject matter jurisdiction."

Developer Joe Edwards, who has spearheaded the effort behind the 2.2 mile fixed track, said he was always confident the suit would be thrown out.

"The Loop Trolley project is such a great project for St. Louis, it's just gratifying to have this hurdle out of the way," Edwards said in a phone interview Monday.

But don’t ring the trolley bell just yet.

Tom Sullivan, a vocal opponent of the project and spokesman for the plaintiffs, said they were now deciding whether to file suit in state court. He said the federal judge’s ruling only addressed the constitutionality of the development district’s creation.

"There’s still a long way to go in this lawsuit," Sullivan said. "There are some main issues that still remain to be adjudicated."

Sullivan said that includes whether it’s legal to extend the tracks west past Kingsland Avenue and south of Lindell Boulevard. The track is set to run from the University City Library east down Delmar Boulevard to DeBaliviere Boulevard, then south to the Missouri History Museum.

The project has overcome other hurdles, though. Last year the Federal Transit Administration threatened to pull $22 million dollars in funding of the Loop Trolley Company did not make more progress.

In March the FTA announced it would award the funding.

The University City Council will address whether to extend a conditional use permit for the trolley track at Monday night’s meeting. Edwards expects it will pass, and he said he expects bids for the project to go out within a week or two. 

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.