KCATA has submitted a River-Crown-Plaza “light rail/streetcar” line as part of its projects to be considered for the economic stimulus package that’s being prepared by the new Congress. Price tag: $400 million.
Such a route would represent about 5 of the 14 miles still being studied as part of the failed light rail ballot question from November. The northernmost segments — including a new river crossing and I-29 interchange — were by far the most expensive on the entire route and would presumably not be included.
We must say that we’re totally surprised (and pleased!) to see this, but aren’t very optimistic for its chances. While the public has not been privy to all of the details of how the stimulus money will be distributed to cities or states, we do know the total will only be around $800 billion, with a subset of that to be used for infrastructure spending. Divide whatever that amount is by 50 states and subtract the state-funded projects and you may end up with a few hundred million to be split between all of the cities in Missouri combined.
President-elect Obama’s speech today highlighting the “green” aspects of the stimulus do give us hope that states may be asked to focus more on projects that have an environmental benefit. We’ll need to see it to believe it.1 comment