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December 13, 2010

Metro Transit Projects Bring Millions to the Region

Dianne Williams
Director of Communications

December 13, 2010

Officials from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the office of Congressman William Lacy Clay braved bitterly cold temperatures this morning to visit the North Hanley Metro Transit Center, site of the second project Metro has successfully completed using funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). While at the Transit Center, officials highlighted the positive impact of these ARRA investments, applauded Metro for its role in delivering the projects and discussed the additional $35 million in planned ARRA investments coming to the region’s transit system in 2011.

This most recent project, near the intersection of North Hanley and I-70, improved overall parking, parking for commuters with disabilities, and bus access at the station. The work not only enhanced transit facilities for Metro customers, but also supported the local economy by using local contractors, including general contractor Byrne & Jones Construction.

During the event, Brian Goggins, President of Byrne & Jones Construction, noted, “With construction pricing now very competitive, it’s a great time for facilities improvement projects. Our work on the North Hanley facility will extend its useful life for decades, and we were thrilled to have the chance to work with Metro on the project, which also helped keep great people working.”

According to Steven Engelhardt of Congressman Clay’s office, the North Hanley project accounted for a portion of the 2,309 jobs that have been saved or created in the 1st Congressional District of Missouri as a result of ARRA funds.

“The North Hanley project is exactly the kind of project we like to see,” said Mokhtee Ahmad, Regional Administrator for Region 7, United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration. “All work was done on-time and on-budget, and we were grateful for Metro’s commitment to making sure the process was so successful.”

In October, Metro also completed a project to halt erosion and stabilize soil along 4.5 miles of MetroLink tracks between Fairview Heights and Swansea, Illinois. Together, the North Hanley project and the erosion and soil stabilization projects were budgeted at $5.1 million and were completed at more than $1 million under that estimate. The projects also employed 98 construction workers.

Looking ahead to 2011, more than $35 million in additional ARRA funds will provide an economic boost to the area as work shifts into high gear on additional projects that will enhance the region’s transit system. The most significant of the projects slated to begin in 2011 is the rehabilitation of the Eads Bridge which will represent an investment of at least $24.5 million in ARRA funds for the region. With time and weather having deteriorated the structural integrity of the masonry and steel elements of the bridge, this ARRA project will replace and repair critical structural elements and apply a protective coating on the steel that will protect the 136-year-old structure for decades into the future. The repairs will be critical to preserving this St. Louis landmark which not only serves as an important connection between Missouri and Illinois, but is also a vital part of the region’s highway and public transit systems.

“We are thrilled about the latest infusion of ARRA funding that’s coming to the St. Louis region, and we look forward to celebrating the completion of the new projects,” stated Ahmad.

Metro’s President and CEO John Nations hosted today’s event. He noted the importance of ARRA funding for the region. “We are so grateful to the FTA and Congressman Clay for securing these ARRA funds. The projects already completed and those scheduled for 2011 are creating and preserving much needed jobs for our region, helping to stimulate the current local economy while strengthening our transit system and enhancing our region’s economic development potential as we head into the future.” 

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