On a chilly but sunny Tuesday morning in Troy, all six members of the Troy City Council, flanked by Congressman Gary Peters and representatives from the business community and railway, drove clean shovels into a mound of dirt, tossing it aside and ceremoniously breaking ground on the $6.3 million Troy Transit Center.
"This is a significant project, really a significant step to a broader regional transit system," U.S. Congressman Gary Peters said, addressing a large crowd before the groundbreaking. "Hopefully we'll also have a regional transit authority soon, and we can be doing what ever other major region has done, which is invest in regional transit."
"It's a great day for Troy," Troy Mayor Dane Slater said. "We can hopefully re-develop and bring business together and bring employees here and make it easier to get to places in Troy."
The design and construction of Troy Transit Center, which had been in the works for a decade and had an original price tag of $8.4 million, was nearly stopped in its tracks last December when City Council voted 4-3 against approving a contract for design of the transit center.
Mayor Slater, a council member at the time, worked with Mayor Pro Tem Wade Fleming, also a council member at the time, to reduce the cost of the transit center in order to elicit a "yes" vote from Fleming, who said the project was too expensive. The revised $6.3 million proposal passed in a 4-3 vote in January.
Funded with federal money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program and Federal Rail Administration, the 2,000-square-foot transit center will replace the Amtrak platform across the tracks in Birmingham.
The facility will connect to ground-side inter-modal facilities via ADA-compliant sidewalks and a pedestrian bridge over the tracks to a new Amtrak platform on the west side of the tracks. Elevators and stairs will provide access to the pedestrian bridge.
The new facility will also provide a SMART bus stop area sized to accommodate up to four full size buses, and a passenger/taxi drop off and pick up area. Parking for all modes of travel will be provided in an upgraded parking area on the Troy side.
For complete coverage of the Troy Transit Center, visit our special topic page.