02.24.09

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCE OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL INCLUDES $950,000 FOR NIAGARA FALLS INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY STATION

Funding Would Aid in the Construction of the Niagara Falls International Railway Station and Intermodal Transportation CenterBill Set to Clear Senate Next Week

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Omnibus appropriations bill includes $950,000 for the City of Niagara Falls International Railway Station Project. The funding would be used to improve railway infrastructure and aid in the construction of a railway center/transportation center building. The bill will now proceed to the House and Senate Floors as the next critical next steps in the appropriations process. 
 
"With hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to Niagara Falls every year, it makes no sense to have a point of arrival miles away from the central tourist area," said Schumer. "The FTA has been stalling this project for too long, but I secured a commitment from them to jumpstart this critical project that will boost tourism and revitalization efforts across the region. These added federal dollars would be icing on the cake and I intend to fight toothandnail to see them through the appropriations process."
 
"These federal dollars will go a long way to keep Niagara Falls an easily accessible tourist attraction," said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "This facility will be a onestopshop to boost economic growth in the region. New York needs all the federal dollars we can get to help support the State's infrastructure and create jobs for our communities. I will continue to work with Senator Schumer to ensure that New York receives its fair share."
This critical relocation and modernization of the Niagara Falls train station is a cornerstone to revitalization efforts underway in the city. The city's current train station, located over three miles from the Falls in an industrial freight warehouse at 27th Street and Lockport Road, has long been inadequate as a point of arrival for Fallsbound tourists and travelers. The relocation has been studied for at least twenty years since the Buffalo Niagara Transportation Committee first proposed the idea in 1987, but despite the fact that millions in federal funding have been secured to support the project, the FTA has consistently stalled.
Schumer, who secured $2.5 million for the project in 2004, announced last year that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has agreed to expedite final approval for the project, freeing up millions in previouslysecured federal funding and allowing the City to break ground on the new station this year.
 
The City of Niagara Falls is seeking funding in this year's spending bill to further support the Niagara Falls International Railway Station & Intermodal Transportation Center Project, a multimodal project that integrates passenger rail, freight rail, crossborder infrastructure, Department of Homeland Security operations, local transit and surface transportation in the City of Niagara Falls.  The funding need is for rail infrastructure to remove existing conflicts between freight movement and passenger rail and support improved operations for both; and the construction of the Railway Center/Transportation Center building, a multifunction transportation facility that will coordinate rail (including international rail), transit, commuter and local traffic in one location, and support improved customs/ bordercrossing activities.
 

The House is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow with the Senate set to vote next week.



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