In 2009, the University of Delaware purchased the former Chrysler Assembly Plant site in Newark, DE and will soon convert the 270-acre property into the university’s new Science, Technology, and Research (STAR) Campus. Now, a $10 million U.S. Department of Transportation Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded to the Wilmington Area Planning Council will fund the design and construction of a new regional transportation center.
The STAR property is located adjacent to Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor rail lines. The TIGER grant will fund the construction of a new passenger rail station adjacent to the STAR campus, a new pedestrian overpass, high-level platforms and structured parking. Current passenger rail service between Newark and Wilmington is limited because of a two-track choke point between Wilmington and Newport, DE. The Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) is working to fix this by adding a third track between Wilmington and Newport, rehabilitating rail bridges and upgrading signals and communication.
The Newark Regional Transportation Center and rail improvements will be a catalyst for transit oriented development for the University of Delaware campus and the Newark-Wilmington region, Delaware’s two largest cities. The improvements are expected to add nearly 4,000 additional passenger trips per day on SEPTA, the region’s commuter rail service. The University also hopes that the rail improvements will attract more people living along the Northeast Corridor to take advantage of the new academic research opportunities at the University of Delaware.
The new transit center will offer an easier way for commuters to get to work, school and recreational activities. It provides a sustainable transportation option for the University’s clinical, academic, government, and business partners up and down the Eastern seaboard.
Funding for the Newark Regional Transportation Center Station Improvement Project was made in part through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to help communities improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while promoting sustainable practices.
If you support the partnership and other similar programs, ask your congressman to fund these programs today!