First wave of funding released for Ann Arbor high-speed rail station

From Crain’s Detroit Business

The Federal Railroad Administration has released $2.8 million to help build a high-speed rail station in Ann Arbor.

The funding, announced Thursday by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, will allow the city of Ann Arbor to begin the preliminary engineering, design and environmental documentation required to construct a new intercity and high-speed rail station, referred to as the Fuller Road Station.

“Construction of a new station is critical to Ann Arbor and will be a key tool in recruiting and retaining the vibrant small-business community that already resides in Ann Arbor,” Diane Keller, A2Y chamber president and CEO, said in a statement. “It will also create critical construction jobs in our community.”

The original award, announced in May, funds the project, which would serve the Chicago-to-Detroit high-speed rail line. The total cost of the rail station and platform is estimated at $25 million and would incorporate automobile, pedestrian and bus access.

“This funding will play a critical role in expanding transportation options for Ann Arbor by helping to build a new bus and train station,” Dingell said in a statement.

The old Ann Arbor station is the busiest Amtrak station in Michigan. But it is on single-track territory without passing sidings, which forces intercity trains to stop and block the main line while serving the station. The project includes construction of passing track that would allow passenger trains to meet and for more than one train to serve the station at a time. The station is planned for what is now a parking lot on the south side of Fuller Road, just east of East Medical Center Drive and Maiden Lane in Ann Arbor.

The commuter rail plan would support four round trips with station stops in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Ypsilanti, Wayne/Westland and Detroit’s New Center area.