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Metro chief muses on Cross County Extension

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – The head of the transit agency Metro says eventually there will need to be more parking along the new cross county extension.

Three of the nine new stations along the 8-mile route will not have parking. Those include the stations at Skinker, Big Bend, and Sunnen.

Metro President and CEO Larry Salci says parking could not be built at every station.

"Will it be adequate? I really don't know," Salci said. "I think over time we're going to need more parking, but there was no way to build parking without taking residential communities."

He says parking will be available at stations in high-traffic areas near I-44, I-64, and I-70.

Salci made the comments on KWMU's St. Louis on the Air Thursday.

The eight-mile extension was originally slated to open last year with a cost of $550 million. Now $132 million over budget the light rail extension will open before the end of October.

Salci says there were not enough checks and balances when the project began.

"The way the contract was structured is we put all of our eggs in one basket," Salci said. "The people responsible were also responsible for the construction management and were also responsible for the quality control oversight. I would like to see those be three independent companies or groups of companies so there's a normal check and balance."

Metro has sued the Cross County Collaborative, the original design and construction team. That group has counter-sued.