The U.S. Department of Transportation's Under Secretary for Policy Peter Rogoff praised St. Louis' "vision" on Friday after the city received a $10.3 million federal grant for a new MetroLink station.
The planned light-rail station at Boyle Avenue and Sarah Street is a key part of the master plan for the Cortex innovation hub in St. Louis' Central West End. Rogoff said it will make it easier for workers to get to and from the developing high-tech area of midtown.
"St. Louis came out on top in this brutal competition because the leaders in this community have a vision and that vision aligns so well with President Obama’s vision of using public investments to grow the jobs of tomorrow across the country,” Rogoff said at the future site of the station.
Metro's grant was one of only 72 awarded out of nearly 800 others submitted across the country to the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (Tiger) grant program, which helps fund transportation projects across the country. The project includes money to improve MetroLink’s Central West End station and to expand bikeways and walkways in the innovation corridor.
"This is a key piece of the transportation infrastructure in the development of Cortex,” said Metro President and CEO John Nations of the tax exempt district formed in 2002 by Washington University, BJC Healthcare, University of Missouri – St. Louis, St. Louis University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden.
“This station would not have happened were it not for the federal grant,” he said.
The $13 million project, which will fill a 1.6-mile gap between stations, is expected to be complete in 2017.
This year, the DOT received 797 applications totaling $9.5 billion, 15 times the $600 million available.