St. Louis, Missouri Metropolitan Area/Metrolink St. Clair Extension
Metrolink St. Clair Extension
St. Louis, Missouri Metropolitan Area
The Bi-State Development Agency (Bi-State) is planning a 26-mile light rail line between downtown East St. Louis, Illinois, and the Mid America Airport in St. Clair County. The project will extend the MetroLink light rail project that opened in July 1993. The adopted alignment generally follows the former CSXT railroad right-of-way from East St. Louis to Belleville, Illinois, serving the Southwest Illinois College -- SWIC -- (formerly known as Belleville Area College), Scott Air Force Base and Mid America Airport. A 17.4-mile Minimum Operable Segment (MOS) terminates at SWIC. The MOS includes eight stations (seven with park and ride lots), 20 new light rail vehicles, and a new light rail vehicle maintenance facility in East St. Louis, Illinois. The MOS is estimated to cost $339.2 million (1996 dollars), and scheduled to open for service in 2001.
The East-West Gateway Coordinating Council (the MPO) completed a Major Investment Study and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the project in 1995. A Preliminary Engineering/Final EIS for the full 26-mile project was completed in August 1996 and a Record of Decision was issued in September 1996. Section 5309 New Starts funds were made available in October 1996 to provide design and construction as far as BAC and a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) was awarded for that segment on October 17, 1996. The agreement authorized Bi-State to design and construct the MOS to SWIC, with provisions for extending the system to Mid-America Airport should funding become available at a later date.
The FFGA awarded by FTA provided a commitment of $243.93 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds contributing to the total estimated cost of $339.20 million (1996 dollars). The St. Clair County Transit District is providing $95.3 million in local funds from a ¾-cent county sales tax.
The final design phase of project development has been completed for two additional segments of the entire St. Clair County Corridor – Phase IIB, which extends the line 3.5 miles from SWIC to Scott Air Force Base, and Phase IIC, which further extends the system by 5.4 miles to Mid America Airport.
Through FY 2001, Congress has appropriated $212.84 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for the FFGA-covered MOS portion of the project. An additional $8.5 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds were previously appropriated, but not included in the FFGA scope.