Metro has been given formal approval from the feds to begin engineering work on the Westside Subway Extension and the downtown Regional Connector. The approval also means that the first installment of funds could be included in next year's federal budget. From The Source's Steve Hymon:
Both projects are currently in their final environmental study phase, which is expected to be finished in 2011. Preliminary engineering work is scheduled to be complete for the Subway Extension in late 2011 and the Regional Connector in early 2012. Final design work is expected to take 14 to 18 months. Under the best-case scenario, utility relocation work for both projects could begin in mid- to late 2012 depending on when the FTA gives the go-ahead to begin building.