The Bi-State Development Agency/Metro has been notified it will be awarded $10.3 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to enhance transit and job accessibility in the Central Corridor of St. Louis. The federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program award includes the construction of a new MetroLink station to be located at Boyle Avenue and Sarah Street in the Cortex District about half-way between the Central West End MetroLink Station and the Grand MetroLink Station.
“The new project will be a great example of transit oriented development,” said John Nations, Bi-State Development Agency President & CEO. “The strength of our transit system allowed us to successfully compete and secure this very competitive federal funding.” According to U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the DOT received nearly 800 applications for TIGER Grants totaling $9.5 billion, 15 times the $600 million available to be spent on the TIGER program. “We look forward to the job creation and economic vitalization that will result from this partnership with Cortex, the City of St. Louis, and our other great partners,” Nations added.
The federal monies will also be used to expand the busiest MetroLink station on the light rail system, the Central West End Station, and will be used to create the first section of a bike trail that will connect the new MetroLink station to the regional Great Rivers Greenway trail network.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $12.9 million with local funding sources committed to providing the remaining $2.6 million needed. The new MetroLink station is expected to be completed in 2017 with an estimated ridership of 900 daily boardings initially and up to 2,000 daily boardings in 20 years.
The project will create approximately 170 construction jobs and support transit alternatives for the estimated 13,000 permanent jobs to be created in the Cortex area and throughout the Central St. Louis Corridor. “We think the Cortex District has great promise for the future of the St. Louis region and we are proud to be part of making that vision a reality,” Nations said.