MassDOT approves final funding for Springfield's Union Station - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

MassDOT approves final funding for Springfield's Union Station

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has given the green light to finance the final part of the first phase of Union Station's redevelopment.

With MassDOT approving the final $16.5 million, it brings the grand total to nearly $66 million, which will allow the building to be back open for business in just a couple of years.

MassDOT said crews started on the renovation project as early as 2010, but work has picked up in recent weeks.

Kevin Kennedy, Springfield's chief development officer, told CBS 3 that everything is going according to plan.

"We've pushed as hard as we can, but we can only go so fast," said Kennedy. "There have been some very complicated issues, but we're there. The Summer of 2016 will work really well with the casino opening, will work really well with hopefully the viaduct finishing."

When the renovation is done, officials said there will be a 26-bay open air bus terminal for regional and inter-city bus service, as well as a complete overhaul of the train terminal's first floor.

Kennedy said it will be a welcome sight for travelers across the region.

"This is a connector up and down the valley, all the way to New York," said Kennedy. "There are going to be new depots built in Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield to service that. "

Kennedy said the Union Station project is as important as any other in the city, including the proposed $800 million MGM casino. Reason being, people will have more ways to make their way into a revitalized City of Homes.

"If you're employed in Springfield, you're now going to have the option of getting on the train, which you really don't have right now," said Kennedy. "It's going to help with our employment base, our entertainment base, it's going to help with everything that goes with Springfield."

Kennedy said the city continues to be in negotiations with Pioneer Valley Transit Authority and Peter Pan bus lines. He hopes both will call Union Station home.

MassDOT said the second phase of the Union Station transformation calls for a complete renovation of the upper two floors, which would allow for 64,000 square feet of commercial space.

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