Metro-East News

East-West Gateway approves money for MetroLink barrier study

Amid security issues that arose in recent months along the MetroLink line, money has now been allocated for a study to add barriers and turnstiles along the system.

The East West Gateway Council of Governments on Wednesday approved spending $3.6 million for a study to look at whether it is feasible to place barriers, such as fencing, and turnstiles along the MetroLink line, as well as start on preliminary design work for barriers along the 47-mile system.

Federal dollars would pay for up to $2.88 million of the study cost, according to council documents.

Funding for the study is coming from leftover money from previous projects, said East-West Gateway spokesman D.J. Wilson.

The study would look at whether it’s feasible to add barriers and turnstiles to the open system and how much it would cost, Wilson said.

The action on Wednesday allows the council of governments to find a firm to carry out the study, Wilson said. A request for proposal still needs to be completed to find a firm.

Calls to increase security along the MetroLink line have come about since recent incidents took place along the line.

A man in April was shot and killed at the University of Missouri-St. Louis stop in north St. Louis. In March, a homeless man was shot and killed at the Busch Stadium MetroLink platform.

In April, a man was charged after he allegedly punched a security officer at the Fairview Heights stop.

St. Clair County, St. Louis City and St. Louis County also have released a plan to improve security along the line, which includes a joint law enforcement task force with members from all three law enforcement agencies that would be created and allow officers from each jurisdiction on the task force to operate in all three areas.

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter