State bonding money gives Duluth transit center the boost it neededThe Duluth Transit Authority, Mayor Don Ness, local legislators, and project partners were to hold a news conference today to announce that the last funding needed for the project has been secured.
By: Steve Kuchera, Duluth News Tribune
Work will begin this year on a $27.5 million Multimodal Transportation Center in downtown Duluth.
The Duluth Transit Authority, Mayor Don Ness, local legislators, and project partners were to hold a news conference today to announce that the last funding needed for the project has been secured.
The project received an initial $16 million federal appropriation in 2010.
The DTA requested $6 million in state funding as part of this year's capital bonding bill. The recently passed bonding bill contains $6.4 million allocated to Greater Minnesota Transit; $4.5 million of which has been identified for the DTA project. The remaining $1.5 million will be funded through other State sources.
In addition to the state funding is $5.5 million in local and private investment funding previously secured.
Now that the project funding is secured, the DTA expects to begin demolishing the Wells Fargo parking ramp below Michigan Street later this year. Actual building construction would begin in the spring of 2013 with completion of the new transportation center projected by late 2013 or early 2014.
Duluth Multimodal Center Animation, courtesy of duluthtransit.com:
The center will provide an indoor terminal area for the passengers transferring between DTA buses or regional and intercity carriers. The center will include an eight-bay bus-boarding platform, along with an indoor passenger-waiting area, seating and public restrooms. The center will include a DTA-staffed information desk, a bike storage area, a police substation, and public and private parking.
The center will also serve as a boarding location for Jefferson Lines and Indian Trails inter-city bus lines, along with Arrowhead Transit and LCS Coaches. Also included in the transit center will be Wells Fargo drive-through banking services on the second level and other retail spaces.
The project also includes a new Northwest Passage skywalk to the DECC, which will include a pedestrian/bike walkway; and a new skywalk connection to Superior Street through the current Transit Center East building.
“It's a great day for downtown Duluth!” Ness wrote on Facebook before the news confrence.
“What I'm most excited about is that we're going to rebuild the skywalk between the DECC and Downtown!” he wrote. “It'll be a bright, modern skywalk corridor over the freeway AND it won't smell like wet dog every time it rains (unlike now). Right now it's a narrow, dark, and unpleasant walk - this new corridor will encourage convention go-ers to take that walk into Downtown.”