U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the obligation of a $15 million grant to design and construct a new train station in Rochester, N.Y. The project is one of 47 transportation projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia selected to receive funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly competitive $500 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2012 program.
“This grant will give Rochester a modern train station that will connect residents to all of New York and New England, whether they’re traveling by train, bus or car,” said Foxx. “Projects like this offer more transit options to more people, opening doors to opportunities both near and far.”
The grant to NYSDOT, announced in June 2012, is for the final design and construction of a new, 12,000-sq.-ft. station that will include a high-level island passenger platform, an underground concourse for pedestrian and baggage access to the new platform, two new dedicated passenger sidings, and additional track and signal work. It will improve access to Amtrak’s Empire Service from New York City to Niagara Falls, the Maple Leaf from New York City to Toronto, the Lake Shore Limited from New York City/Boston to Chicago, and connections to other modes of transportation, such as Greyhound and Trailways bus services, the Rochester Regional Transit Service buses and taxis.
Obligation of the funds means the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has successfully met the rigorous engineering, environmental and contractual TIGER requirements for project readiness. The new station, which will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will replace a temporary station constructed in 1978, which is deteriorating and non-ADA compliant.
“Rehabilitating or building new stations plays an important role in strengthening our rail system,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo. “Creating stations that are accessible to all, convenient, clean and provide quick access to other modes of transportation boosts ridership by attracting new passengers as it stimulates local economic development.”
NYSDOT is contributing $7.5 million to the project and the city of Rochester is contributing $500,000. Award of the NYSDOT contract for the project is expected in the fall of 2013 with construction expected to begin in spring 2014.
TIGER is a highly competitive program that funds innovative projects that are difficult or impossible to fund through other federal programs. In many cases, these grants will serve as the final piece of funding for infrastructure investments totaling $1.7 billion in overall project costs. These federal funds are being leveraged with money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies.
TIGER has enjoyed overwhelming demand since its creation, a trend continued by TIGER 2013. Applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for TIGER 2013 grants totaled more than $9 billion, far exceeding the $474 million set aside for the program. The Department received 568 applications from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.