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Friday, January 21, 2011

Metro Detroit Region is one step closer to light rail as $25 Million Dollar grant is awarded

Metro Light RailImage via Wikipedia
A light rail transportation project
is one step closer to reality as the
U.S. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood
announce 24 Million dollars in
matching funds from the Recovery
Act.
The proposed Woodward Avenue Light Rail project in Detroit is one step closer to reality. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on January 20th the project received a awarded $25 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program.



In the initial announcement of the light rail project August 2010, Secretary LaHood and Federal Transportation Agency (FTA) Administrator Peter Rogoff stated in Detroit, that an 3.4-mile, 12-station light rail line had been selected to receive the funds.

"Building this light rail system will create jobs for this great American city, and it will stimulate long-term economic growth by attracting investment to downtown Detroit and the New Center area," LaHood said.

The $25 million of federal funds will be used for road rehabilitation, landscaping and the purchase of light rail cars for the light rail project.

The initial phase of the light rail line would connect downtown Detroit to Grand Boulevard in the New Center district along with the main corridor of Woodward Avenue. A second planned phase would extend rail line up to 5.9 miles from Grand Boulevard to Eight-Mile Road near the former state fairgrounds, totaling 9.3 miles. The FTA is  completing an environmental impact statement for both phases of the project.

Private funds raised will also be used to fund the light rail project. Regional business leaders have attracted about $125 million that will be used as matching funds for the project which should break ground this year, noted the Detroit News.


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