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University City

Delmar Boulevard in University City in an April 2, 2012, file image. Photo By David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

The Federal Transit Administration has given developers of the new Loop Trolley a long-awaited go ahead on the project.

Last year, top FTA officials had warned regional planners that they had made "insufficient progress" on the trolley project. The officials ordered planners to meet certain conditions or risk losing up to $22.1 million in federal grant money.

It appears those conditions have been met, according to a statement issued this afternoon. In the one-page release, the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District said it received the necessary FTA approvals.

"We've always had a goal of building the trolley system without tapping into general funds from the city of St. Louis or University City," Joe Edwards, owner of the Blueberry Hill restaurant in University City, said in a prepared statement. "We're very pleased with the FTA's support, comments and suggestions."

The $43 million Loop Trolley would span 2.2 miles along Delmar Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue, starting at the University City Library and the ending at Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.

Ken Leiser is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.