Congressman Joe Courtney (2nd District) and the U.S. Department of Transportation today announced a $4.9 million grant to build an intermodal transportation hub in the heart of the Storrs Center downtown development.
The new hub will provide a centrally-located transfer station for University, local, intercity, and express bus services, Dial-A-Ride, and taxi service.
The Storrs Center project will create a vibrant, mixed-use downtown for Mansfield.
“This will help transform the region and allow this world-class university to be located in a world-class community,” said Courtney.
According to Courtney’s office and the Department of Transportation, the project will also spur job growth, boost economic development, and create new transportation solutions for the town and the region.
“We are moving closer to our goal of being a vital town center,” said Philip Lodewick, chairman of the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, which is responsible for the project. Lodewick said that the project will leverage the total of $23 million already devoted to it to garner more than $200 million in private investment. He noted that a number of local, regional, and national businesses have committed to being part of the Storrs Center.
The Mansfield Downtown Partnership and the town applied for the grant in February 2010 through the Greater Hartford Transit District. Storrs Center was one of only two projects in Connecticut to be funded through a recent $293 million federal initiative aimed at creating transit improvements nationwide.
UConn Vice President and COO Barry Feldman noted that while many communities are rehabilitating their downtowns, Mansfield and the University are in the unique position of creating an entirely new one.
“The reality is that this process will take time,” said Feldman, “but this is a major step forward.”