By J. PATRICK PEPPER
DEARBORN — A U.S. Department of Transportation memo obtained last week by the Times-Herald indicates that roughly $28 million in federal grant money has been set aside for an intermodal rail station in Dearborn.
The memo clarifies a Jan. 27 announcement by DOT officials that $40 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money was awarded to fund rail improvement projects in Dearborn, Battle Creek and Troy, but didn’t specify how much was going to each city.
The figure is well above the $2.5 million city officials had requested and implies that the entire project – which was to be built incrementally over the course of about a decade – will be finished in the next two years.
The facility reportedly will span about 14,000 square feet and be on Michigan Avenue near The Henry Ford (see related story). The station – one of five on a new Detroit to Ann Arbor commuter rail route – is designed to be a regional transit hub that will offer riders several other transportation options, such as bus and taxi service, to get to outlying destinations. The project has been years in the planning, but until now has had difficulty getting funding.
“We’re shocked – and excited – that we got this much money for the project,” said Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. “We wouldn’t have a new train station without this money.”