Construction on Pawtucket's train station due to begin in September

Construction on Pawtucket's train station due to begin in September

A rendering of what the future Pawtucket-Central Falls Commuter Rail Station could look like.

PAWTUCKET – Officials will be laying a significant amount of groundwork during the early part of 2018 to prepare for the September start of construction on what they’re calling a “transformative” train station project.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is now reviewing proposals from companies seeking to design and build the new Pawtucket-Central Falls Commuter Rail Station, said Jeanne Boyle, the city’s director of commerce, and a contract is expected to be awarded during the first quarter of the calendar year.

State officials in February of last year said they planned to award a design-build contract by early summer 2017, effectively shortening the overall timeframe for the project, with ground broken in late 2017 and the station opening in late 2019. Once that window was past, they’d planned to award a contract during the latter part of 2017, but that timeframe has been pushed back again.

The latest start date for construction to begin is September of 2018, about a six-month delay from an original estimate, according to Pawtucket Director of Planning and Redevelopment Sue Mara. Specifics on bids from companies will give a better idea “when the actual train station is going to be completed,” said Boyle.

As the city waits for the train station to come to fruition, local officials are taking many steps to get ready for it, said Boyle. A joint Pawtucket-Central Falls planning commission is meeting regularly on both planning and regulatory matters related to the station. Also this year, that commission will vote to adopt a comprehensive plan to allow Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) to go forward, and will also adopt zoning regulations this year, said Boyle.

The city was awarded two grants related to the train station in 2017, one a $575,000 grant from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for infrastructure improvements in the area of the train station between Main Street and Conant Street, and another a $95,000 grant to develop a multimodal transportation master plan for Pawtucket and Central Falls, essentially working to make it easier to access the station.

Local officials and members of the Pawtucket Foundation are working closely with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority to development more of a transportation hub at and around the station.

The city is also working with Horsley Witten Group to run the public participation part of the train station project, also set to happen in the early part of 2018. A series of meetings will be held to solicit public input and ideas and keep the public informed on the project’s progress.

DK Communications will work on branding aspects of the train station district, working to help the public understand what the project is and how transformational it will be.

“There’s going to be a whole lot happening in 2018,” said Boyle.

Boyle said the city continues to field numerous calls from developers interested in developing properties around the new train station. The New England Real Estate Journal, the go-to source for developers in the region, has been advertising properties in the Pawtucket area based on the expected arrival of the train station.

The commuter rail station, in the works for decades and finally coming to fruition after a $13 million grant was secured in 2016, will be developed along existing train tracks near the Central Falls line. The station will not have buildings, but will feature platforms.

Comments

How about repairing existing structures first? Has anyone noticed the South Attleborro station? The stairs are rotting from inside and 2 of the 3 stairs are closed and completely unsafe to even be around.

Submitted by thatguy on Wed, 2018-01-03 09:52

How about repairing existing structures first? Has anyone noticed the South Attleborro station? The stairs are rotting from inside and 2 of the 3 stairs are closed and completely unsafe to even be around.

You do know that South Attleboro is in another state, right?