DOT Grant Gives MTD $17 Million For Terminal Expansion
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District a grant of more than $17 million for its Illinois Terminal expansion project.
The department announced the award earlier this week. Republican Congressman Rodney Davis was among those pushing for the grant.
Discussing the grant at the Illinois Terminal on Friday, Davis said the MTD’s Karl Gnadt and other local officials worked very hard to get the grant money.
“I really want to give Karl (Gnadt) and the communities a lot of credit because these grant programs are very competitive," Davis said. "They’re competitive where you’re competing with other bus and bus facilities from throughout the nation.”
Gnadt is the MTD's Managing Director. He said the grant will cover most of the $25 million that the MTD has committed to the project. Gnadt said the rest of the money will mostly come from the MTD's capital reserve fund.
Gnadt said the next step is to finalize an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Champaign, and a development agreement with CORE Spaces. Then they'll be able to put the project out for bids.
“That really gets the ball rolling then, because then we start getting real numbers, real estimates," Gnadt said. "We start having a handle on what the project is going to look like and how it’s going to function, and so we’re real close to that.”
He said he hopes to have those agreements finalized in the next couple of months.
Gnadt gave Davis a lot of credit for helping to secure the grant funding and said Champaign-Urbana continues to buck the trend of "ideological entrenchment" to get things done.
The Illinois Terminal expansion is part of the larger proposed Yards development, which would include a new downtown hotel and conference center, along with a new arena for a yet-to-be-announced University of Illinois varsity hockey team.