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College of Saint Rose in Albany makes closure official

Contractor Selected To Helm Union Station Project

A general contractor has been selected to manage the building of a major transportation project in western Massachusetts.  A recent influx of federal  funds  has the long  stalled redevelopment of Springfield’s derelict train station back on the fast track, as WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

Springfield city officials Tuesday announced another significant step forward in the  redevelopment of Union Station with the selection of  Daniel O’Connell’s Sons of Holyoke as general  contractor for the  $45 million project.  Company president  Dennis Fitzpatrick said the  new Union Station will be his firms  latest signature project, locally, joining the Memorial Bridge and the Springfield Federal Courthouse.

Work is to  begin in the fall to redevelop the old train station into a modern transportation  center with facilities for Amtrak train service, commuter rail, intercity and public transit buses . Construction is to be finished  within 2 years.

Efforts  to  redevelop Union Station, which closed in 1974, languished for  decades. But now city officials say it is on the fast track, thanks in part to the Obama administration’s commitment to spend $1billion to expand high speed rail in the Northeast.  Last month, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood  was in Springfield to green light the Union Station project.

Kevin Kennedy, the city of Springfield’s chief development official said the commitment of federal money helped attract seven submissions from firms hoping to be selected as construction manager.

The project is expected to create 200 construction jobs. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said it is yet to be determined if it will be build with a project labor agreement with the local building trades council.

Sarno has called the redevelopment of Union Station crucial to the continued revitalization of Springfield in the aftermath of last year’s tornado.

Springfield has recently become a magnet for casino developers, who have been scoping out potential sites.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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