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METRO Gets Federal Approval For North, Southeast Lines


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Contractors Mobilized, Work Begins

The NEW METRO received formal notification from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that critical new construction work can begin on the North and Southeast rail lines. The notification, in the form of “Letters of No Prejudice,” also means that METRO can expect to receive federal reimbursement for about half the cost. The anticipated letters were received on December 28 and contractors have already begun work.

Construction activity for the North Line includes the start of communications duct banks, concrete pavement, sidewalks and asphalt paving on Fulton Street from Cavalcade to IH – 610, and from Boundary to Collingsworth. In addition, construction can begin on the new bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad and the retrofit of the Main Street Bridge at the University of Houston-Downtown.

Work on the Southeast Line includes the start of communications duct banks, concrete pavement, sidewalks and asphalt paving on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd from Winnetka to just north of Griggs Road and on Scott Street from Polk to Coyle.

Also as part of the North Line project, new construction activity will occur at METRO’s Rail Operations Center at Fannin South, including installation of tracks for rail vehicles in the maintenance yard, construction of an expanded parking lot for maintenance vehicles and expansion of the building.

Gilbert Garcia, METRO Chairman, commented on the federal approval: “We see this as one more indication that the FTA is increasingly confident in how the NEW METRO does business. Getting the FTA’s approval to keep the rail projects moving is a great way to begin the New Year.”

METRO President & CEO, George Greanias, responded: “This latest federal approval is advantageous for several reasons. Not only does the new construction activity push the rail projects ahead, but the work also reduces the time neighborhoods are disrupted by incomplete roadwork and sidewalks.”

The cost of the above work, estimated at $12.5 million, was approved by the METRO Board in December as an addition to the fiscal year 2011 METRORail expansion budget.

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