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The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) last week announced it awarded a $27.7 million design-build contract for a planned intermodal hub in downtown Buffalo.Hohl Industrial Services Inc. and Scrufari Construction Co. Inc. won the contract for the three-story Exchange Street Station, which will be built on the footprint of the existing 66-year-old Amtrak station. The new train station will be elevated and moved closer to the street to improve access and visibility.The project's planned second phase calls for expanding the station to accommodate intercity bus service and additional train routes, creating "a truly intermodal transit center for downtown Buffalo," NYSDOT officials said in a press release. The station is slated for completion in fall 2020.Built in 1952, Buffalo Station is a stop along Amtrak's Empire Corridor, linking Buffalo and Niagara, New York, and Toronto. About 38,000 passengers use the station annually.NYSDOT assumed control of the project to replace the station after the city of Buffalo conducted a location study that resulted in the decision to use the existing station's footprint. The project calls for the old station to be demolished and the new, larger station be built at the same location. A temporary station will be erected to serve passengers during construction.The new station will be woven into the city's urban fabric, with improved connectivity to its light-rail system — via a new covered pedestrian plaza — and increased accommodations for vehicles and pedestrians, NYSDOT officials said. It will be more than twice the size of the existing building. It also will feature additional seating and parking, as well as redesigned platforms."Buffalo has experienced an unprecedented economic resurgence in recent years and the new Exchange Street Station will help continue that trend toward a more vibrant, prosperous downtown," said NYSDOT Acting Commissioner Paul Karas. "The new train station will make travel easier for residents and visitors alike, while also spurring economic activity and tourism."