On Monday, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Metro) broke ground on two light rail projects: the North and Southeast corridors.
The projects are expected to spur economic growth in the community by creating 60,000 direct and indirect jobs under the full $1.46 billion contract. The initial phase of the contract calls for spending $632 million and is expected to create 25,000 jobs. Small and local businesses are expected to receive $300 million to $385 million in eligible contract work.
The two rail lines were among five transit projects in the nation selected to receive funding. President Obama’s FY2010 budget set aside $150 million to help build the North and Southeast lines.
The first work order for $121 million has officially been signed. That means initial construction on the North and Southeast lines is expected to get under way in the coming days. Activity on the East End line, which is already under construction, will increase.
All three lines – the North, Southeast and East End - are slated to be completed by 2012 and will add approximately 14 miles of light rail to METRO’s existing Main Street Red Line.