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9/21/2011



Rail News: Passenger Rail

LaHood: Twin Cities' light-rail, Union Depot projects put Americans to work


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On Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff visited Minnesota as part of an effort to support President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which would create thousands of transportation infrastructure jobs, including those involving rail.

During a tour of the Union Depot station expansion project in St. Paul, LaHood called on Congress to pass the Jobs Act, which would “put construction workers back to work” on such infrastructure projects as the Central Corridor light-rail line between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis. Scheduled to open in 2014, the 11-mile line will include 18 new stations and a new vehicle maintenance facility in St. Paul.

“Transportation investments are crucial to fixing our aging transit systems and putting more money in the pockets of working Americans,” Rogoff said in a prepared statement.

In April, Rogoff signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement to provide $474 million in New Starts funds for construction of the Central Corridor. The project’s total cost is estimated at $957 million.

Federal funds also helped create more than 225 jobs to support the construction of the Union Depot multi-modal transportation hub, said LaHood. When completed, that facility will accommodate Amtrak and light-rail passengers, as well as regional and intercity bus riders.



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