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Massachusetts Gov. Baker pledges $12 million for Springfield station


Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito yesterday allotted an additional $12 million for the redevelopment of Springfield's Union Station.

The funds come from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), as well as the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. The additional funds brings the total level of federal, state and local funding to $88.5 million, which is the amount necessary to complete the project, MassDOT officials said in a press release.

"With access to the east-west and north-south interstate highways, and corresponding rail corridors, the city of Springfield is strategically situated at the transportation crossroads of New England," Baker said in a statement. "The funding we are pledging today will allow for the redevelopment of Union Station to capitalize on those connections, and rebuild the station into a regional transit hub that provides more options in a modernized building with space for new economic activity and growth."

Of the $12 million, $9.6 million was allocated by MassDOT through Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality federal funding, while remaining $2.4 million came from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program.

The rehabbed station will have 66,000 square feet of leasable commercial space, a six-level parking garage, a renovated terminal building, a reactivated passenger tunnel and new rail boarding platforms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Construction began in early 2014 and the station is expected to be fully operational in 2016.

Meanwhile, Baker late last week released Massachusetts' capital budget for fiscal year 2016, including a $2.125 billion bond cap on general obligation funds. The budget allots $251 million toward the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line extension, as well as $79.2 million toward rail cars for the system's Red and Orange lines.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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