Washington » The federal government is pumping $91 million in economic stimulus money into the Utah Transit Authority's planned Mid-Jordan light rail line, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Thursday's announcement, which included eight other transit projects around the country, seemed to take UTA off guard.
"We are very pleased," said spokeswoman Carrie Bohnsack-Ware. "We just heard about this today."
Bohnsack-Ware said UTA officials were meeting Thursday evening and would present details Friday morning.
In announcing the funding, the Transportation Department said the infusion is part of the $428 million the federal government has promised to provide for the project, which will cost about $535 million altogether.
When built, the Mid-Jordan line will start at the Fashion Place West station (6400 South) and travel almost 11 miles through Murray and Midvale into West Jordan. It will include nine new stops and end in South Jordan's Daybreak development.
Originally UTA expected to complete construction in 2012. Bohnsack-Ware couldn't say Thursday if the accelerated federal funding would impact that deadline.
But LaHood said: "By getting these funds to the Utah Transit Authority 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."
The federal government will provide the rest of the funding in annual increments through 2013.