Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) officials, city officials and others on Monday, broke ground on the Central Gateway Multimodal Transit Facility in Kent, Ohio. The new facility, funded by a $20 million investment through the Obama Administration’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant Program, was the very first TIGER grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT).
The Central Gateway Multimodal Facility will create an estimated 266 jobs in the construction trades and will serve as the centerpiece of a public-private $80 million investment to revitalize Kent’s downtown area. The economic development effort is expected to create more than 700 new long-term jobs.
“The Kent facility was the Administration’s very first TIGER grant award and we could not be more proud of the effort made to make this day possible,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “President Obama continues to challenge our nation to out-build and out-innovate the rest of the world, and I applaud the City of Kent for its vision that helps to achieve that goal.”
The new Kent facility will not only benefit the local economy, but it will also benefit the environment. Planners are striving to achieve a LEED Silver Certification by embracing innovative energy efficient technologies, including solar panels, geothermal technology, and other green building methods. The result is expected to be a multimodal facility that saves taxpayers money by cutting back on energy costs over the long-term.
The U.S. DOT announced the selection of $1.5 billion in TIGER grants for 51 projects as part of the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17, 2010.