November 17, 2010

Minnesota receives $35M renovations grant

Renovations to Minnesota's historic Union Depot in Saint Paul can now begin thanks to a signed agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority for $35 million, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced.

The money will pay for the renovation of the multimodal transit hub in the heart of downtown Saint Paul and for the restoration of tracks, driveways and sidewalks. The upgrades will help create a vibrant transportation center, revitalize downtown and promote economic growth with greater access to the city's businesses.

"This project will bring together transportation options all at one location in a way that is convenient for passengers and beneficial to the environment," said LaHood.

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez added that protected bike storage would make it even easier for riders to access transit without having to drive a car and that the depot has the future capacity for high-speed intercity passenger rail service.

The overall project is $237.5 million, which includes renovation of the transit facility includes co-locating Amtrak, intercity bus carriers, local bus, light rail services, taxis and bicycle accommodations.

The $35 million was awarded under the Recovery Act's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program.

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