St. Louis County Council gives initial approves $46 million budget for Metro
Last night the St. Louis County Council moved one step closer to approving two funding bills for the public transit agency, Metro - despite one councilman raising concerns about how the agency has spent tax dollars in the past.
Councilman Steve Stenger had threatened to withhold around $6 million- the amount Metro transit paid to a developer in 2010 for spaces in a Brentwood parking garage.
Rehabilitation of the 138-year-old Eads Bridge is moving forward after two years of delays and ballooning project costs.
The project was to begin in 2009 with $24 million in federal stimulus funding, but labor disputes between contractors and unions, and the project’s pricetag, which inflated to $36 million, kept the bridgework from getting started.
John Nations, Metro’s President and CEO says the bridge’s age also made the bidding process difficult.
Residents can weigh in starting today on proposed fare increases for mass transit in St. Louis. The Metro transit agency is considering three options for raising fares this year – one would increase only the costs of weekly, monthly and university semester passes; the second would raise the cost of all passes except day passes; and the third would spread the increase to all fares, including buses and Metrolink.
A months-long project that will involve grinding Metrolink’s entire system of rails begins Friday night.
It’s the first time since the late 1990’s that Metro has done the grinding on its light rail line. Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams says it will make the track more smooth and improve riders' experience.
"It needs to be done periodically. It simply extends the life of the rail, and that's a big investment in the track," Williams said.
The work will be done at night, which means people may see bright red sparks where the grinding of metal on metal is being done.
Officials say the completion of improvements to the main runway at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia will help the facility expand its clientele and generate new business.
The six-month, $7.4 million project widened and lengthened the runway and improved the runway’s lighting system. Airport director Bob McDaniel says they also strengthened the runway to support larger aircraft like the Boeing 757 and Airbus 320.