Construction begins, return of trolleys closer

Construction begins, return of trolleys closer
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The return of the Downtown Memphis trolleys is getting closer.

Construction started Monday on the rails in front of Main Street \Mall.

Weather conditions and summer events are preventing MATA employees from giving an estimate on when construction will be completed. However, they are planning for the steel wheeled trolley to be back on the tracks by the end of the year.

MATA released a statement on the progress and construction:

"The Memphis Area Transit Authority began work today (May 8) on Main Street Mall to prepare for the return of the rail trolleys later this year. MATA is repairing cobblestone pavers from Peabody to Exchange and from Exchange to Greenlaw, MATA is repairing grout work and rail tracks. All of the work is expected to end mid-late summer. While the work is being performed on Main Street Mall, MATA trolley buses will operate along Second Street (going southbound) and Front Street (going northbound) between Exchange and Peabody Place at fixed route bus stops. This construction project will not affect pedestrian use of the Main Street Mall."

Downtown employees said they welcome the return of an easier way to get around town.

"I'm excited, because walking does take a little bit of time on your lunch break. So, we can hop on the trolley immediately, head where we need to go, and come on back to work," Tia Stewart said.

Tourists said they missed the Memphis icons.

"I think it's nice to get the trolley back downtown. It's a nice historic part of downtown," Ashley Thomson, visiting from Washington D.C., said.

While the trolleys are completely refurbished, MATA representatives said they must pass all the safety tests.

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