The city of Raleigh has been awarded a $10 million grant to be used to complete the new Union Station in downtown, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan announced Wednesday, but the project is still about $20 million short of the funding needing for the full vision of the station.
The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation's 2013 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants Program, Hagan's office said.
The first phase of the new station will be located at 510 West Martin Street in the existing Dillon Supply warehouse. Construction could begin as early as 2015 and be completed as early as 2017.
The TIGER V funds announced Wednesday are in addition to the $21 million Tiger IV grant awarded to the city in June 2012.
The city voted in May to ask for more federal help to pay for the project. The plan is for the station to house Amtrak, Greyhound, high speed, regional and light rail, as well as some of Capital Area Transit's services.
The station would replace the current Amtrak station on Cabarrus Street.
Will Allen, the chair of the city's Passenger Rail Task Force, said the $10 million was a major boost for the rail center.
"This is a huge help, this $10 million, to moving us to the end of the design phase and the beginning of the construction phase," he said.
But the city still needs millions more.
A July presentation by Craig Newton of the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Rail Division put the total cost at $73 million, but that would depend on how much funding the project received.
Mitchell Silver, planning director for the city of Raleigh, said the project was about $30 million short before the new $10 million grant. Silver said future funds could come from the state, the federal government or, as a last resort, the city.
Hagan, in a statement, said, "Completing a new Union Station is an important investment that will bring economic development to the City of Raleigh and improve the lives of commuters and tourists who utilize the rail facilities everyday at one of the Southeast's busiest stations."
Mayor Nancy McFarlane said, "This transformational project is a cornerstone for Raleigh's growing transportation network and will be an important public space in our historic Warehouse District"
Hagan sent a letter to then Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in support of the City of Raleigh's application for the TIGER grant.