SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been close to half a century since Springfield’s Union Station served as a transportation hub for the region, but with state and federal funds finally secured and construction underway, people who live and work in the Pioneer Valley say there’s no better time for a comeback.
“There’s no question it’ll be good for the community. It’ll create a little excitement around here. Just like the casino will create a little excitement around here,” said Andrew Skroback from East Longmeadow.
The $75.2 million transportation complex will bring PVTA bus lines and rail services together; connecting people in Springfield and across western Massachusetts to Connecticut and New York, Vermont, and eastern Massachusetts.
“This station played a very important pivotal role in the development of Springfield, and I think in terms of commercial potential, this could be a very important part of Springfield’s future,” said Congressman Richard Neal (D-Springfield).
The Union Station project includes 7,000 feet of commercial rental space. More importantly, it’s going to keep talented workers and bright minds in Springfield by giving them more access to places like Boston, where previously people have relocated entirely for jobs and opportunities.
“I have a friend right how who is moving to Boston because there are no jobs around here for some people. The commute is difficult,” said Mabel Santiago from Springfield.
Phase 1 of the project is underway, which includes restoration of the central concourse and construction of a 26-bay bus terminal. Union Station is expected to open in two summers.