“UH-D, UH-D, UH-D ... !”
With Houston Metro Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia cheering them on, UH-Downtown students and staff show off their school spirit for the reopening ceremony.
It comes after 18 months of closure for the Main Street bridge, which runs by UH-Downtown and connects downtown with the northside.
Metro’s interim President Tom Lambert says thanks to the transit authority’s partners, the bridge was reopened one month ahead of schedule.
“They worked with us very closely to make sure we could accelerate the schedule, so it took a lot of folks working together and the opportunity was there and we were able to do that.”
He says altogether the Metrorail expansion is now about 70 percent complete.
“The east end line is about 64 percent, the south end line is about 65 percent and on the north line we’re about three-quarters of the way complete. We’re going to tell you where we’re at today and what you’re going to see. The north line is dramatically moving forward. The roadway for this 5 mile extension is complete.”
Currently, UH-Downtown is Metrorail’s most northern stop. When the expansion is completed, the north line will run past the north loop alongside Interstate 45.
UH-D President Doctor William Flores says he hopes the Metrorail expansion will motivate more students from the northside to go to college downtown.
“We worked with those middle schools and those high schools already through Project Grad and through other partnerships we have in the communities. They’re going to start saying, you know, when you grow up, this is where you go and all you have to do is go on the train.”
Lambert says Metro will be testing trains on the north line this summer.
“And already 5 of the 6 vehicles are in town. We’ll have another 12 vehicles coming in for that as well.”
Metro aims to complete the entire light rail expansion by 2014.