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Raleigh wins $21M federal grant for transit hub

Posted June 22, 2012

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— Plans to convert a former warehouse west of downtown Raleigh into a regional transit hub received a boost Friday when the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the city a $21 million grant.

Planners want to transform the old Dillon Viaduct Building on West Martin Street into Union Station, which would replace the 62-year-old Amtrak station on Cabarrus Street. The first phase of the project is projected to cost about $75 million.

The grant from the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, or TIGER, would help pay for the first phase of improvements, including renovating the building, constructing various track, siding and platform improvements and extending West Street.

"Everybody knows that a strong infrastructure is vital to a city's economic future, and this a vital part of what is going to lead Raleigh into this next century, to make us bigger and better than we are," Mayor Nancy McFarlane said.

Union Station, which could be completed in three years, would handle Amtrak, freight trains, high-speed regional service and commuter rail, as well as Triangle Transit and Capital Area Transit buses. The station also will be a major stop on the Southeast high-speed rail corridor from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta.

McFarlane and other city officials said Raleigh would continue looking for other funding to develop the area around the station.

Raleigh's chief city planner, Mitchell Silver, said he expected Union Station to be a "big, big boost" to commercial and residential development in the surrounding areas. 

Interior of future Union Station in Raleigh Federal grant boosts Raleigh's transit hub plans

Local voters approved spending $3 million on the project when they passed a transportation bond last fall, and officials said Raleigh would chip in another $4 million by shifting money from other projects and generating revenue through new fees.

Union Station is one of 47 projects nationwide to receive almost $500 million combined in TIGER grants, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday. More than 700 projects sought funding.

“This grant for Raleigh’s Union Station means good jobs for North Carolina today and greater mobility that will generate economic benefits well into the future,” LaHood said in a statement.


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  • Crumps Br0ther Jun 25, 2012

    Obama could have given everyone $1,000,000 each instead of using it on his "shovel ready" projects....we would all be rich. But instead, he chose to "create jobs".....didn't he?

    No own in government would trust the entire population with that kind of money per person. You would still have to take care of the stupid people anyway beause they would blow it all on "toys" and instant gratification trinkets. Anyway the govt believes they can spend your money better than you can.

  • lessismore Jun 25, 2012

    Obama could have given everyone $1,000,000 each instead of using it on his "shovel ready" projects....we would all be rich. But instead, he chose to "create jobs".....didn't he?

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 22, 2012

    lessismore - "It's reckless to keep giving away money we do not have."

    First of all, it's the American way.

    Secondly, it will create more jobs which will help the economy so we can pay some of our bills.

  • jcarroll006 Jun 22, 2012

    The rail system in Portland, OR is genius. Also, the rail system in Europe is wonderful. We need a similar system here.

  • lessismore Jun 22, 2012

    I don't have a problem with a city transit system but I do have a problem with "where did this money come from", we are broke. I assume Obama and company borrowed this money from China so the national debt limit will have to be raised again in October. It's reckless to keep giving away money we do not have.

  • aspenstreet1717 Jun 22, 2012

    People in Europe use trains. It costs an arm and two legs to buy a ticket.

  • Alex25 Jun 22, 2012

    Public transit especially light rail in 90% of the US is a waste....and total taxpayer scam.

    Few users, high costs = slam the taxpayers...but the DOT bureaucrat loves it. Sickening...

  • Bill Brasky Jun 22, 2012

    "Permanent jobs building train stations everywhere! We will all ride trains to our jobs building train stations! Forward to the 18th century!"

    Actually train travel is a lot more energy efficient and cost effective then regular car travel. For example look up the cost of a mile of road compared to a mile of rail. We are one of a few countries that never did build an effective rail system, mostly due to car lobbyist in the 1950s. As a result of this massive road system that we face huge costs in road and bridge repair

  • kcfoxie Jun 22, 2012

    In europe, people commonly commute by train. We should be doing that here. I'd much rather take a train from Raleigh to RTP and bus/bike/run the 2-3 miles to my office...DAILY. The savings in money and frustration from other drivers would adds years to my life, not to mention the exercise!

  • bevmorgan56 Jun 22, 2012

    So just because our train station is ugly we should spent xxx Million dollars on a new one that we cannot afford? I frequent the current station down town, and to be completely honest its not that bad. A little paint, and a few repairs it would be good as new. Instead of the millions it would cost to build a new one. A couple hundred thousand would make the old one last until we could afford a new one. Also you want to create jobs that are hurting our economy through over spending. Over spending is why we are in our current situation.