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St. Louis' P3-Funded Station

St. Louis regional leaders recently broke ground for the first new MetroLink light rail station in more than a decade and the first to be built through a P3: the Cortex MetroLink Station in the Cortex Innovation Community, an innovation hub located in historic neighborhoods of the city.

Representatives from the funding partners—Cortex Innovation Community, Great Rivers Greenway, Washington University, BJC HealthCare and the city of St. Louis—joined Metro and Bi-State Development to kick off the project, which also includes the first quarter-mile of a paved five-mile-long greenway where people can walk, run or ride a bike.

“This public-private partnership is an outstanding model for how the region, and the nation, can approach infrastructure needs in the future,” said John Nations, president and chief executive officer of Bi-State Development, whose Metro enterprise operates MetroLink. “Projects like this are … about making an investment in our community … that will help attract workers and create new jobs; an investment that will serve as a catalyst for new business and economic development; an investment that will position the city of St. Louis and the entire bi-state region for even more prosperity and success in the years to come.”

Ray Friem, executive director of Metro Transit, said the partnership “can serve as a model for future transit infrastructure projects.” A $10.3 million federal TIGER grant provides the majority of funding for the $15 million project, with the balance coming from the partners.

The new infill station will be the 38th on the current light rail system when it is completed next year. It is expected to provide an additional transportation option for the estimated 13,000 new permanent employees in the area over the next 10 years. Companies located in the community currently employ 4,000 people.

Metro Transit Executive Director Ray Friem, second from left, and Bi-State Development President and CEO John Nations, second from right, join representatives of public and private partners at ground-breaking ceremonies for the Cortex MetroLink Station.

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