MDOT Receives Federal Grant for Accelerated Rail

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – The Michigan Department of Transportation has been awarded a federal grant of about $9.4 million to continue improving the accelerated rail line service between Dearborn and Kalamazoo.

The money awarded to Dearborn-Kalmazoo rail will be used to enhance the 110 mph Amtrak service between the two cities.

The money is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery 2013 discretionary grant program. The program will fund a total of 52 transportation projects in 37 states and will give the projects approximately $474 million.

MDOT Rail Office Director Tim Hoeffner said that the funding is “critical” for projects planned to improve the existing service and to reduce travel times.

“Not only will these projects increase passenger connectivity, but they also will improve freight movement along this vital commercial corridor.”

The new intermodal passenger rail station, which will be named after U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell Jr., is currently under construction and is expected to open next year.

Located on Michigan Avenue just east of Brady, the station has been the focus of plans for transit oriented development, which use transportation hubs as launching point to re-invent existing areas, drive economic activity and create a unique sense of place.

One way the planners want to accomplish that is by creating an intermodal station that “will allow passengers to connect with rental cars, taxis, buses and shuttles, as well as bike and pedestrian paths, as they travel to jobs, shops, schools and visitor attractions in Dearborn.”

The construction of the station is being funded with $28.2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)

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