SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Union Station in Springfield has been closed for 40 years, but construction on the $78 million project is underway in the month of June.
22News reveals when this transportation hub might actually re-open. We are still about two years away, although now there are actually signs of progress.
A fence, orange cones, workers in vests; not a full on construction site, but Springfield's Union Station Project is finally inching ahead.
"It's one of the great ironies of my time in Congress. There's always been enough money for the project," said Rep. Richard Neal, (D) Massachusetts.
Work will continue through July to remove asbestos from the building. Springfield Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Chris Moskal told 22News after some more environmental evaluations are complete demolition of the baggage area and a parking garage will begin. Although it is still unclear if Peter Picknelly's Peter Pan Buses will move across the street.
Union Station and Peter Pan Bus Lines are only about a football field away. Peter Picknelly was out of town on Friday, but has told 22News unless someone takes care of the property he already owns, he's not moving.
Congressman Neal believes something will get done. "I think Union Station can exist on it's own, but I'm hopeful that this move will still take place and I assume that it is."
Executive Director Moskal says Phase 1 should be complete in July 2015. That's when a part of Union Station should reopen, 42 years after it closed.
The first phase includes the opening of a pedestrian tunnel, ticket counters, terminal and retail space. Phase 2 includes adding more office and retail space in the terminal building.