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Rockingham (VT) Transportation Centre

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Rockingham gets federal boost for transportation center

December 2, 2004

ROCKINGHAM, Vt. (AP) -- The town will receive nearly $2 million in federal funding to start building a multimodal transportation center that would link train, bus and other public transportation services.

Officials say the $4 million center will improve access to public transportation.

"The transportation center is at the heart of the region's economic revitalization and community development efforts," Sen. Patrick Leahy said in a statement Wednesday as he announced the funding.

The funds are part of an appropriations bill approved by Congress on Saturday.

The Bellows Falls Transportation Center will place train and bus service with automobile, taxi and bicycle connections in one location, according to Rockingham Municipal Manager Shane O'Keefe.

The project requires a 10 percent local match for the federal funds, although some of those funds may come from outside the local taxpayer pool, he said.

The funds will revitalize a 1920s-era train station that is currently being used by the Green Mountain Railroad Tourist Train and Amtrak, said Susan McMahon, a senior planner with the Windham Regional Commission. The commission has been hired by the town to manage the project.

She said the building, located across the street from the new Connecticut River Scenic Byway Waypoint Interpretive Center, is in good shape but needs a number of upgrades to become the transportation hub of Bellows Falls.

Among the work needed are repairs to the roof, interior renovations to maximize the space, perimeter plantings, benches, a bus turnaround and a taxi stop.

The town of Rockingham is also trying to persuade Connecticut River Transit, which runs bus routes in Windham and Windsor counties, to move its headquarters from Springfield to a nearby building once the renovations are complete.

Four years ago, Leahy secured $1.3 million to buy the building and pay for the project's planning and design.

From projo.com

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