U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff visited Minnesota on Monday in support of President Obama's American Jobs Act and called on Congress to make significant investments in job-creating transportation projects like the currently underway Central Corridor Light Rail project.
LaHood and Rogoff visited the historic Union Depot Station in downtown St. Paul, which is currently under construction as part of the new Central Corridor Light Rail Line. Construction of the line is expected to generate more than 3,300 jobs, including positions related to engineering, design, construction and operations.
The line includes 18 new stations, 31 new railcars and a new vehicle maintenance facility in St. Paul. It is scheduled to open in 2014.
In April 2011, Administrator Rogoff signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement to provide $474 million in New Starts funds for construction of the 11-mile light rail project that will link the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The total cost of the project is $957 million.
In addition to the Central Corridor Light Rail Line, federal funds helped create more than 225 jobs between July and November of this year alone for construction of the Union Depot Multi-Modal Transportation Hub. When completed, the facility will accommodate Amtrak, regional transit buses and intercity buses, and provide easy access to the light rail line.
More than half of the $243 million multi-modal facility is being paid for with a combination of federal funds, including the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration and $35 million from the U.S. DOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.