PORTLAND President Obama s budget recommends funding for the massive light rail project that would connect Portland to Milwaukie.

The 7.3-mile line would run from the Portland State University Campus, through the South Waterfront and then into downtown Milwaukie.

The president s 2012 budget earmarks $200 million for the $1.5 billion project. TriMet was expected to get another $545 million from the federal government and the other half would come from regional funding.

This is great news. It actually shows that the president and his administration are committed to this project, said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.

If all goes as planned, construction would begin as early as July and the new rail line could open in September of 2015.

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