- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A $10 million grant for a new light rail station in midtown St. Louis will make it easier for workers to get to a developing high-tech area of midtown, a top official with the U.S. Department of Transportation said Friday.

It was announced earlier this week that the St. Louis transit agency Metro was getting a $10.3 million TIGER grant. Details of the project were released Friday. The St. Louis project is among 72 around the country selected to share nearly $600 million in grant money.

Transportation Under Secretary for Policy Peter Rogoff said the grant money will help build a new MetroLink light rail station at Boyle Avenue and Sarah Street in what’s now known as the Cortex “innovation district.” It will fill a 1.6-mile gap between stations. Meanwhile, a new bike trail will connect to the MetroLink station.

The improvements are meant to support development of the Cortex district that is already home to the Washington University School of Medicine, the Wexford Science and Technology and other high-tech facilities. Plans call for more than 4 million square feet of additional space that developers hope will create thousands of technology-related jobs.

“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,” Rogoff said. “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.”

The total cost of the new MetroLink station is expected to be about $13 million.

The TIGER grant for St. Louis was among three approved for Missouri. Another $10 million was awarded to the Missouri Department of Transportation for a new Missouri River Bridge project at the eastern Missouri town of Washington. The Kansas City Workforce Connex Project is getting $1.2 million.

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