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SECRETARY CARD ANNOUNCES HALF BILLION DOLLAR FUNDING FOR PORTLAND RAIL PROJECT

 SECRETARY CARD ANNOUNCES HALF BILLION DOLLAR FUNDING
 FOR PORTLAND RAIL PROJECT
 WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of Transportation Andrew H. Card Jr. today announced that the Department of Transportation will provide more than a half billion dollars to extend a rail system in Portland, Ore., resulting in "a significant shot in the arm to the city's economy."
 The secretary said that $516 million in federal funding will be made available over the life of the Westside light rail project that "will support, directly and indirectly, about 40,000 new and existing jobs."
 Card said the $516 million represents 75 percent of the cost for the 11.5 mile extension of the city's Banfield light rail line, taking it from downtown Portland to S.W. 185th Street in suburban Washington County. Total cost of the project is $688 million.
 "This project will help reduce traffic congestion by bringing fast, convenient public transportation to a large, new segment of Portland area residents," Card said.
 The secretary said the department's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Portland transit officials have worked out the details of a full funding grant agreement that will authorize the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (Tri-Met), and their state and local partners, to proceed with the rail project. A signing ceremony is expected later this week.
 FTA officials said the Portland project is one of the first to use the funding flexibility provided in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, signed into law by President Bush in December 1991. The measure's Surface Transportation Program gives local officials a greater say as to whether federal transportation funds are used for highways or transit.
 -0- 9/14/92
 /CONTACT: Rick Centner of the Federal Transit Administration, 202-366-4043/ CO: U.S. Department of Transportation; Federal Transit
 Administration ST: Oregon IN: TRN SU:


MH -- DC021 -- 9169 09/14/92 12:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1992
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