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Sangamon County approves US$13.3 million for transportation center

The Sangamon County Board has approved US$13.3 million that will go into the construction of the Sangamon Mass Transit District transportation center to R.D. Lawrence Construction Co., Ltd. of Springfield, Illinois. The transfer center is the first phase of the Springfield-Sangamon County Transportation Center, a US$80 million project designed to bring together Amtrak trains, SMTD buses,  airport shuttles, paratransit vehicles, and taxis just northeast of the Sangamon County building on Ninth Street. Hanson Engineers is responsible for providing overall engineering design services and management for the US$356 million Springfield Rail Improvements Project, which sees to alleviate rail congestion in downtown Springfield by consolidating train traffic from Third Street to 10th Street.

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“We have to issue all of our sub-contracts and purchase orders with suppliers, after we receive those back, work could start. There’s a little bit of demolition to do and a little bit of upgrade to some existing parking lots where the (temporary bus transfer station will go) until the overall project is completed.” the project head, Aaron Gorbett stated. He said about 20 to 25 workers will be part of the project through its completion, scheduled for February 2023. At other junctures of the project, that workforce will increase, Gorbett said.

Part of the transfer center is another building that will allow riders to purchase bus tickets and food, said Sangamon County administrator Brian McFadden. There will also be some SMTD dispatch operations and offices for those working on the construction site. A parking garage,  SMTD transfer center, Amtrak station, and county building will all be connected and covered. The parking garage will be for county employees and visitors and Amtrak riders and will have a drop-off area for passengers. The center will include a grand stairway that will serve as a waiting and gathering area. It will also feature a second-floor exhibit space that will document information about the 1908 Springfield Race Riots, supplementing a proposed Race Riot memorial.

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