Stamford train station gets $22.9M for improvements
STAMFORD — A combined $22.9 million will next year be put to work improving the Stamford Transportation Center’s elevators, escalators and so-called internal circulation, or how people navigate the station.
The money, from a $9.2 million federal grant and a matching state grant of $13.7 million, is yet another parting gift to The City that Works from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a longtime mayor who will be leaving the Governor’s Mansion next month.
The state in recent months put in motion two other large long-term improvements around the station. The state Department of Transportation plans to build a new $100 million parking garage nearby on South Station Place and will also replace the railroad’s overpass on Atlantic Street for another $75 million, adding a lane for local trains.
The new grant is welcome news to Connecticut Commuter Council Vice Chairman Jeffrey Maron, who said he often sees lost train riders wandering the station in search of the right line.
“We’re glad to take it,” he said. “I’d love it if they spend even $5 on signage.”
Maron said “signage is probably the most important.”
It is unclear, however, what exactly upgrades to the “internal circulation system” means, and what the grant will fund. DOT spokesman Judd Everhard said in an email that “the upgrades are designed to improve flow within the facility through faster and more reliable people-moving equipment. Other enhancements to the Stamford Transportation Center are being explored as part of a multi-phased program, but we do not have specifics at this time.”
Although the state is picking up most of the bill on the upgrades, Malloy shared a good deal of credit in a news release with the state’s federal delegation and its ability to deliver a BUILD grant of nearly $10 million.
“I’ve been on a crusade to transform our transportation system in Connecticut,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. “The Stamford station is the second-busiest station on the New Haven line. Upgrading the station to serve even more commuters is a big deal for Fairfield County. I’ll keep fighting to make our rail lines faster and more reliable.”
The money will fund upgrades to 17 escalators and several elevators, which will ensure the station can operate in a state of good repair for the next 25 years and beyond, according to the release. The DOT will administer the grant, and construction on the improvements is expected to begin next year.
In addition, and independent of this project, the DOT launched a multi-year improvement initiative that includes canopy, lighting, restroom and communications upgrades, the release said.
“Taken together, the upgrades will improve the reliability and speed of movement in the station, reduce the risk of severe delays, access impediments, and injuries to travelers,” it added.
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