$21 Million Approved for Union Station and PVTA
SPRINGFIELD — Congressman Richard Neal recently announced that nearly $21 million in federal funding has been formally approved for the planned renovation of Springfield’s Union Station, a historic landmark, and the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA). Of the $21 million, $17 million will help support the renovation of Union Station into a regional transportation center, which is estimated to cost $45 million. The remaining $3.9 million will be directed to the PVTA to help underwrite maintenance of the local public-transportation system. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Raymond LaHood visited Springfield in late July to tour the historic train station and meet with local officials to discuss the redevelopment project. Neal, who has spearheaded this project since the late 1980s, expressed his satisfaction with the recent funding approval and thanked LaHood for his attention and assistance. “I have been determined to turn Union Station into a modern intermodal transportation center for many years,” said Neal. “Restoring this historic structure and turning it into a thriving 21st-century transportation center has been a top priority of mine going back to my days as mayor of Springfield. I remain convinced that the successful renovation of Union Station can literally transform the northern blocks of downtown Springfield. The renewal of this local treasure has been confirmed with this announcement, and a new generation of travelers will soon be passing though its doors.” Neal reported that $72 million in federal funding is being used to renovate the Connecticut River rail line and bring high-speed rail to Western New England, and more than $100 million is being invested in the local infrastructure. The Springfield Redevelopment Authority owns Union Station, built in 1926. Demolition of a portion of the building will commence late this year, with construction for the new renovations expected in the spring of 2013.
Pro Springfield Media Launches Web Publication
SPRINGFIELD — Pro Springfield Media, a nonprofit organization that was established in 2011 with a campaign to encourage area residents to “say something nice about their city,” recently launched an online publication called Speaking of Springfield. The publication will feature good news about the city — upbeat, up-close, and uplifting stories about residents, businesses, and neighborhoods. A section entitled “Sensations” features city sights, sounds, and signs as part of the editorial content. The publication is being managed and produced by TSM Design with support from local writers, photographers, and videographers. Speaking of Springfield is a free public medium and is funded through the support of corporations, foundations, and individuals through grants, underwriting, and donations. Individuals are encouraged to subscribe to the e-zine in order to be notified when articles are posted by logging onto www.speakingofspringfield.org.