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West light-rail corridor gets $40 million in federal funds

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By The Staff

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced May 7 that the Regional Transportation District will receive $40 million in federal funds for the west corridor light-rail project.

"By getting these funds to the Regional Transportation District now, we're providing a boost that will help this project keep moving forward while jump-starting the economy and putting people back to work," LaHood said.

Earlier this year, the Federal Transit Administration signed a "full funding grant agreement" to provide $308.7 million of the $709.8 million total project cost to be paid out in annual increments through 2012. The current grant doesn't increase the federal commitment to the project, but expedites funds committed.

The accelerated arrival of federal funds supplements local resources, which have declined during the economic downturn.

The west corridor will be a 12.1-mile light-rail transit corridor between Denver's Union Station and the Jefferson County government center in Golden. When complete in mid-2013, the west corridor will include 12 new stations, six with park-and-ride facilities. By the year 2030, the light rail system is expected to carry approximately 30,000 daily riders requiring 32 new light-rail vehicles.