The long-awaited Birmingham-Troy transit center is one big step closer to becoming a reality now that it has landed $1.3 million in federal funding.
The federal earmark could be first in what promises to be even more federal funding. So far, the two cities have raised half of the $7 million needed for the project from a variety of local private and public sources. It hopes to secure the rest of the money and begin construction this year.
“We’re expecting word in the next 30-60 days from federal stimulus funding programs,” says Michele Hodges, president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce.
The two cities plan to create the transit center on the Birmingham side of the border between the cities. About $4 million would be set aside for the center while the rest would be used to build a pedestrian tunnel underneath the tracks.
The center would facilitate traffic from pedestrians, bicyclists, automobiles, buses, and the planned northern extension of the Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail line. There has also been talk of creating an east-west streetcar line to connect the station to Birmingham’s downtown and Troy’s Somerset Collection mall.
The proposed site is in Birmingham’s emerging Rail District. The cities plan to create a transit oriented development district around the station that would roughly be bordered by Crooks, Adams, and Maple Roads and Lincoln Street.
Source: Michele Hodges, president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce
Writer: Jon Zemke