Metro, the St. Louis rail transit operator, held a ceremonial groundbreaking on June 8 for a new Metrolink station that will be built this summer in the Cortex Innovation Community, in the central corridor of the city. The event, attended by community leaders, project partners and the public, was celebrated as the first MetroLink station to be built in the St. Louis region in more than a decade.
The new station includes Chouteau Greenway, a paved path for pedestrians. The station is the first Metro station to be built from public and private funds.
“This great public-private partnership will improve the MetroLink infrastructure for the benefit of the transit riding public, and that, in turn, will enhance the entire community,” said Ray Friem, executive director of Metro Transit. “This partnership can serve as a model for future transit infrastructure projects.”
“Young people want to live and work in safe, fun, walkable communities; and employers want the same,” said St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. “This new MetroLink station is part of that equation. Anytime we can make it easier to get to work, school or other destinations, we’re doing our part to make the city grow.”
Funding partners that attended the event included Cortex Innovation Community, Great Rivers Greenway, Washington University, BJC HealthCare, the City of St. Louis and Bi-State Development, whose Metro enterprise operates the MetroLink light rail system for the region. The project cost is estimated at $15 million.
“This public-private partnership is an outstanding model for how the region, and the nation, can approach infrastructure needs in the future,” stated John Nations, Bi-State Development president and CEO. “Projects like this are more important than just helping people get from point A to point B. It is about making an investment in our community; an investment that will help attract workers and create new jobs; an investment that will serve as a catalyst for new business and economic development; an investment that will position the City of St. Louis and the entire bi-state region for even more prosperity and success in the years to come.”
The station will be the 38th to be constructed on the current light rail system. It is located between the Grand Station and Central West End Station, between Boyle Avenue and Sarah Street. The project will also extend the platform at the Central West End MetroLink Station, which has the highest ridership on the entire alignment.
Primary funding for the project is provided from a $10.3 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The remaining funds will come from Cortex Innovation Community, Great Rivers Greenway, Washington University, BJC HealthCare and the City of St. Louis/St. Louis Development Corporation.