ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project is a big winner in President Obama's fiscal 2012 budget.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's budget highlights released Monday with the president's budget shows funding for Central Corridor quadrupling from $45 million recommended in fiscal 2011 to $200 million in fiscal 2012.
"This is another concrete example of the administration's strong support for the Central Corridor LRT Project," said Chair Susan Haigh of the Metropolitan Council.
The Central Corridor project is poised to create at least 3,400 jobs since the FTA forwarded the Full Funding Grant Agreement earlier this month to Congress.
An FFGA is the federal government's contractual commitment to pay half the cost of building the $957 million line. A 60-day courtesy review will occur prior to execution. The project already has spent $145 million for design, property and construction.
With support of both past and present federal and state administrations for the Central Corridor FFGA, the Met Council awarded the major construction contracts last year and began work after receiving sufficient advance funding commitments from local funding partners, creating 571 jobs.
The 3,400 jobs would be for engineering, construction, management and operations personnel.
About the Central Corridor LRT Project
The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University avenues via the state Capitol and University of Minnesota. Construction began in 2010 on the planned 11-mile Central Corridor line, and service will begin in 2014.
The line will connect with the Hiawatha LRT line at the Metrodome station in Minneapolis and the Northstar commuter rail line at the new Target Field Station. The Metropolitan Council would be the grantee of federal funds. The regional government agency is charged with building the line in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Central Corridor Management Committee, which includes the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis, commissioners from Ramsey and Hennepin counties and the University of Minnesota, provides advice and oversight. Funding is provided by the Federal Transit Administration, Counties Transit Improvement Board, state of Minnesota, Ramsey and Hennepin counties' regional railroad authorities, city of St. Paul, Metropolitan Council and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. For details, visit www.centralcorridor.org.
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