LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced that the East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project is now eligible for federal funding opportunities.

The Federal Transit Administration granted the project a Record of Decision, which officially certifies that the project meets federal guidelines for environmental analysis, according to Metro, which may now seek federal funding for the final design and construction of the 9.2-mile project.

“Last month we pushed the project forward with a $30 million investment in utility work to expedite construction. Now, with the Federal Transportation Authority’s Record of Decision, this line becomes eligible for federal funding opportunities, and we are well on our way toward full funding and completion of the foundation for the future of transit in the San Fernando Valley,” Metro board member and Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian said Monday, Feb. 1.

The project, which begins pre-construction later this year, will connect the Van Nuys Metro “G” (Orange) Line station with the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station, primarily by traveling along Van Nuys Boulevard.

The end-to-end travel time will be 31 minutes. Construction will begin in 2022, and the project will be built in segments, which gives Metro flexibility to determine the most efficient and cost-effective ways of building.

The first 6.7-mile segment will be between the “G” Line in Van Nuys to San Fernando Road in Pacoima. The second segment, 2.5 miles along the San Fernando rail right-of-way north to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station, is subject to additional funding.

Most of the project’s $1.3 billion in identified funding has come from Measure M, Measure R and state funds.

“The East San Fernando Valley Light Rail project has been one of my top transportation priorities since I was elected to the City Council,” Krekorian said.

“This critical backbone project will be the first light rail line in the Valley, connecting communities, revitalizing neighborhoods, reducing congestion, and improving air quality.”

The light rail is expected to be open to the public by 2028, Metro officials said.

“The East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project is just one of several major transportation improvements we have in store for the San Fernando Valley,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “It just happens to be the first one to go into construction as we deliver on our promise of better mobility for Valley residents.”