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Bi-State Development moving ahead with planning phase of MetroLink expansion

If approved, the federal government's New Starts program would pay for 60% of the projected $850 million needed for the first phase of the north-south expansion.
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — Bi-State Development will move ahead in the planning of a proposed north-south expansion of MetroLink with the hopes of landing federal funding.

Bi-State Development Board of Commissioners gave the OK for the Bi-State Development team to plan, design and develop the Jefferson Alignment MetroLink Expansion, which was previously known as the Northside-Southside MetroLink expansion.

They will work with the City of St. Louis to create a plan that will then be presented to the federal government's New Starts program. Bi-State will lead the project and will work with outside consultant services to develop the plan.

This planning phase is expected to cost about $7.4 million, which is being paid for by the city's COVID-19 funds, according to Bi-Sate.

If approved, the New Starts program would pay for 60% of the projected $850 million needed for the first phase of the Jefferson Alignment Expansion. The remaining 40% would need to be supported by local funding.

The planning team hopes to have the application ready for this summer or next summer. If the initial plan is approved by New Starts, there would be another two years to finalize the plan. If the final plan is approved, it could start immediately.

Bi-State unveiled an updated plan in June of 2022 that showed the expanded route running from Jefferson Avenue at Chippewa Street north to Natural Bridge Avenue in the city of St. Louis. The plan would require a transfer station to connect to the current red and blue lines.

Bi-State CEO Taulby Roach said at the time that the new route differed from previous proposals, but the changes were made to highlight new arrivals in the region like the new MLS stadium and new NGA headquarters.

Credit: Bi-State
This new route would be located on Jefferson Avenue, from Chippewa Street in south St. Louis to the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Natural Bridge Avenue in north St. Louis.

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