U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $10.3 Million in TIGER Funds for St. Louis Light Rail Corridor Improvements
Demand Demonstrates Need for Greater Transportation Investment through GROW AMERICA Act
Contact: DOT Press Office
ST. LOUIS – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the Bi-State Development Agency (known as Metro) has been awarded a $10.3 million TIGER grant toward construction of a new light rail transit (LRT) station and other improvements for accessing St. Louis’ existing MetroLink transit system. The project is one of 72 transportation projects selected to receive a total of nearly $600 million in 46 states and the District of Columbia from the Department of Transportation’s 2014 TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Program, which Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced on September 12. Under Secretary for Policy Peter Rogoff traveled to St. Louis for the local announcement.
“As uncertainty about the future of long-term federal funding continues, this round of TIGER will be a shot in the arm for these innovative, job-creating and quality of life-enhancing projects,” said Secretary Foxx. “TIGER will fill a gap in St. Louis’ transit network providing better access to downtown jobs and economic opportunity with the addition of Cortex Station and expanding the crowded Central West End Station. For every project we select, however, we must turn dozens more away – projects that could be getting done if Congress passed the GROW AMERICA Act, which would double the funding available for TIGER and growing the number of projects we could support.”
The TIGER funds will support the construction of a new light rail transit rail station at Boyle Avenue and Sarah Street in the Cortex District—filling a 1.6-mile gap between stations. A new bike trail connecting the new Cortex station to the regional Great Rivers Greenway will also be constructed. The improvements are expected to support the development of the Cortex mid-town “innovation district,” which is home to the Washington University School of Medicine, the Wexford Science and Technology Center and over 4 million square feet of planned mixed-use development hosting thousands of technology-related jobs. The TIGER grant also helps to expand the existing Central West End LRT station—the busiest on the MetroLink system, which serves a disadvantaged population. The overall work is expected to cost a total of approximately $13 million.
“These TIGER funds will go a long way to help St. Louis achieve its goal of developing a job-creating technology hub that is fully accessible by public transportation,” said Under Secretary Rogoff. “The TIGER Program is ideally suited to projects like this that leverage transportation as a means of strengthening communities and creating new opportunities for thousands of residents.”
“We congratulate the citizens of St. Louis, who are the true winners in obtaining these highly competitive TIGER grant funds,” said Federal Transit Administration Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “This project will improve access to efficient, reliable public transportation and create ladders of opportunity for many hard-working families.”
The GROW AMERICA Act, the Administration’s surface transportation reauthorization proposal, would authorize $5 billion over four years for much-needed additional TIGER funding to help meet the overwhelming demand for significant infrastructure investments around the country and provide the certainty that states and local governments need to properly plan for investment. The $302 billion, four year transportation reauthorization proposal would provide increased and stable funding for the nation’s highways, bridges, transit, and rail systems without contributing to the deficit. The GROW AMERICA Act also includes several critical program reforms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal highway, rail and transit programs.
The Department received 797 eligible applications from 49 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, an increase from the 585 applications received in 2013. Overall, applicants requested 15 times the $600 million available for the program, or $9.5 billion for needed transportation project.
Since 2009, the TIGER program has provided nearly $4.1 billion to 342 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during the previous five rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 6,000 applications requesting more than $124 billion for transportation projects across the country. Congress provided the most recent funding as part of the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, signed by President Obama on January 17, 2014.