$10 Million TIGER Grant Will Begin Construction of New Claymont Regional Transportation Center
Funding allows redevelopment of the train station and surrounding area, a long-time goal of Claymont community, state and congressional delegation.
Today, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan and state and local officials announced a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant award from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to help fund the Claymont Regional Transportation Center and replace the current obsolescent Claymont Train Station, parts of which date back to the early 1900s.
Claymont is the northernmost of Delaware's four train stations, served by Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) trains that link Delaware and the Philadelphia metropolitan region. Despite deficiencies in parking, vehicular and pedestrian access, and marginal ADA accessibility, the station has attracted a steady ridership of nearly 1,200 weekday and about 100 weekend passengers.
The project is supported by a partnership of stakeholders, both public and private, including Delaware Transit Corporation, WILMAPCO, State of Delaware, New Castle County, Amtrak, SEPTA, the Claymont Community and other local stakeholders in the North Claymont Master Plan (NCMP).
"I'm grateful for the hard work and commitment of Sen. Carper and our federal delegation for successfully securing this significant federal investment in the Claymont Regional Transportation Center," Gov. Markell said. "This facility is a great example of our investment in the revitalization of the Claymont area, as well as our continuing dedication to creating vibrant communities and improving quality of life."
Earlier this year, Delaware's Congressional Delegation of Sens. Carper and Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney (all D-Del.) wrote a letter of support to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx supporting the project.
"For years, public and private partners have come together with a goal in mind - to construct the Claymont Regional Transportation Center," said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, who spoke to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx in support of the project. "Receiving this competitive grant was a huge win for Delaware and the effort to redevelop the former industrial site. Creating safe, multimodal, transit-oriented infrastructure projects like this one is a smart step for the future, and I cannot wait for the day that the more than 1,000 rail passengers use the new, updated station."
"Claymont has waited long enough for a new station, and we are now on track to building a transit hub to help residents of northern Delaware and be a cornerstone of a developing Claymont," said Sen. Coons. "As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and as New Castle County Executive, I have fought for a new station and worked with many national, state, and local partners to help make this station possible."
"Projects like this are what redevelopment is all about," said Congressman Carney. "This investment allows much-needed improvements to the Claymont train station, which is used by hundreds of Delawareans every day. And, we're going to incorporate it into the exciting work being done to bring jobs and industry back to the Claymont Steel site. I'm thrilled that it's happening in my hometown of Claymont, and I'm thankful to the many partners working together to get this done."
A new, state-of-the-art station will attract even more ridership and be integrated with the redevelopment of the 420-acre former Evraz Claymont Steel industrial site, currently being transformed into a modern mixed-use campus featuring office, commercial, and light industrial uses. The station will have convenient access to the regional highway, public transportation, bicycle, and pedestrian networks, and the construction of this project is estimated to create 342 jobs annually.
"Thanks to a $10 million TIGER grant, the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware Transit Corporation will be able to move forward with the relocation of the Claymont Train Station, creating the new Claymont Regional Transportation Center, "said Secretary Cohan. "When it opens in 2020, the regional transportation center will improve the mobility of travelers in a region growing economically and demographically. With expanded parking, improved pedestrian and bicycle connections, and ADA accessibility, the new multi-modal center will be accessible to the growing number of residents and visitors to the area."
Redevelopment of the train station and the surrounding area has long been a goal of the Claymont community. A station improvement plan, begun in 2005, endorsed relocating the station one-half mile north; creating a facility in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); improving car, bus, pedestrian, and bike facilities; and providing a safe and aesthetically pleasing station for users and the community.
The anticipated cost of this station concept is $40 million. The $10M in TIGER funds will help continue the design and complete the construction of this project. Studies for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are underway, and it is estimated that $2 million will be utilized from the TIGER grant to complete the environmental studies and to complete engineering. The balance of the funds for this project will be provided by other federal sources, Delaware Transportation Trust Fund, and New Castle County, with in-kind services from WILMAPCO. The project is anticipated to be completed and revenue train service to begin in May of 2020.
The regional transportation center will improve the mobility of travelers in a region growing economically and demographically. The center will ultimately serve more than 697,000 residents of the region, and it has the potential to reduce vehicle miles traveled by producing better access to passenger rail that connects to a network of bicycle and pedestrian amenities.