Grebien: Pawtucket wins with $13 million grant for train station

Grebien: Pawtucket wins with $13 million grant for train station

PAWTUCKET – The announcement last week that the state was awarded a $13.1 million federal grant toward a new commuter rail station in Pawtucket was the big win city officials were hoping for.

“The Pawtucket Central Falls Commuter Rail Station is a truly unique opportunity. The station will link a dense urban population to job centers, educational opportunities, retail and recreational assets,” said Mayor Donald Grebien in a statement. The station will attract those from outside the area to our historic mills and investment opportunities for mixed-use transit-oriented development that offers a lifestyle and business climate that are in high demand.”

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation will receive the grant through the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, TIGER, grant program designed to help tough-to-finance projects that have significant impacts on a region or metropolitan area, according to a release.

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation announced the award last Wednesday.

Talks on a new commuter rail station began in 2005. The Pawtucket rail stop would be located between Barton Street, Conant Street, Goff Avenue and Dexter Street at the city line between Pawtucket and Central Falls.

RIDOT will work with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to provide service at the station, which will offer a connection to Wickford Junction, T.F. Green Airport, Providence, and stops all the way to Boston’s South Station.

The estimated cost of the project is $40 million. The state has put $15.7 million toward the station in its 10-year plan.

RIDOT has already started a preliminary design for the station with platforms, ramps and shelter for waiting riders. Now, with the TIGER grant, the next phase of planning and acquisition is scheduled to begin this winter, according to the release.

Grebien said the addition of commuter rail will support Pawtucket and the entire Blackstone Valley as people come see the Blackstone Valley National Park, Slater Mill, a booming craft brew industry, an international arts community, and the Pawtucket Red Sox, among other attractions. Teams from Pawtucket and Central Falls have been “aggressive and focused on this long-overdue, catalytic project which will revitalize our community,” he said.

Grebien thanked U.S. Sen. Jack Reed for his leadership and other congressional leaders who advocated for “this critical funding.” He thanked state leaders for pushing the “significant economic development and transportation project” and committing the state matching funds.

The state’s $15.7 million plus the $13.1 million federal grant “brings us to the closest we’ve ever been to making the station a reality,” said Grebien. “The cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls will continue to work with our state and federal leaders to push this project over the finish line.”

Grebien also recognized Central Falls Mayor James Diossa for his leadership in the joint effort, and thanked members of the local General Assembly delegation, the Pawtucket Foundation and Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce.

Comments

Does nothing to comfort the RIPTA passengers who make up the 2nd largest hub in RI who are still being left out in the cold.

Grebien "wins" and we will end up paying for that "WIN".

Will be good for a possible MCDONALDS. wOW OR a dd

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Mayor Grebien taking cudos for the work started under Mayor Doyle once again it seems. The whole concept of a stop at near the Pawtucket/CF line began as an idea the Doyle administration had to build up the Dexter st area, and at the time with the economy booming made sense. Now however the economy isn't what it was, Attleboro just opened a transmodal hub in downtown, RI has brought the one at the airport online ( neither of which were in the mix back then). Also the area in question is in dire need of AFFORDABLE housing not higher rents. And lastly no where in any of the press releases so far has anyone said how much it will cost to maintain it, who will be responsible for maintenance or who will pay for it.