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Another $4 million in federal funding announced for Springfield’s Union Station as east-west rail plans solidify

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (center, at podium) addresses reporters alongside Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno (center-right, standing closest to podium) as the two detail funding for future streetscaping and "regreening" work to be done around Union Station.
James Paleologopoulos
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (center, at podium) addresses reporters alongside Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno (

Several million dollars in federal funding is heading to Springfield, Massachusetts as part of an effort to improve and “regreen” a patch of the city’s downtown.

A new round of improvements to Springfield’s Union Station is expected to start in the year ahead, after federal funding was secured in a law signed earlier this year.

“[We’re] very pleased to indicate and announce today that, through a congressional earmark, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $4.1 million to the area surrounding Union Station,” said Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal of the 1st district. “… we want Union Station always to be welcoming for people.”

Promoting another one of his earmarks, Neal joined Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno to discuss the over $4.1 million investment.

According to Neal and company, the money will go into “streetscaping” for the area surrounding the bus and train station.

Poster boards entitled “Union Station Regreening” illustrated some of the work, including a new planting area and a “bioretention curb extensions” along and near Chestnut and Lyman streets.

Sarno described how the regreening, as well as improvements to pedestrian safety in the form of lighting and other fixtures, will continue to spur investment and development in the neighborhood.

“We want to make Union Station even more welcoming - if it's clean and it's safe, that spurs investment and economic development,” the mayor said. “This $4.1 million is extremely important - people might not put a lot of priority on it, but you want to have a good curb appeal moving forward.”

Union Station has been the home of a considerable amount of investment recently, with both Sarno and Neal working to revitalize the station, which was dormant for decades. Millions of dollars have gone into restoring the transportation hub, which reopened in 2017.

Neal says the renovations are key to expanding east-west rail as part of long-running state and federal plans.

During the news conference, Neal said the station is now 85 percent occupied, including nascent educational cybersecurity center involving Springfield Technical Community College.

As for the most current developments, Springfield Department of Public Works Director Chris Cignoli says shovels are likely to hit the ground in the coming year.

“With regards to this project, one of the first things that we have to do is we have to get an agreement with HUD, because there will be a contract with it,” he said. “Our goal would be that we would want to get everything here constructed/starting construction next season.”

He added that work is already happening in the area this year, with construction activities on a nearby section of Dwight Street and further down, from approximately Worthington Street down to State Street.