When we can help travelers make easier connections, that's a transportation win. And when we can help customers get to the businesses and services they use more easily, that's an economic win. I'm happy to say that in Normal, Illinois, the terrific new Uptown Station does both.
On Saturday, I joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Normal Mayor Chris Koos, and Amtrak Chairman Tom Carper to dedicate the new center that will serve as a true transportation hub for the city of Normal and an economic engine for the central Illinois region.
When Americans travel, we don't always get to our destination in the same way. Sometimes we drive; sometimes we ride a bus or bicycle; sometimes we fly or walk. And sometimes we combine modes, like by riding a train between cities then taking transit locally to complete our trip.
And when that happens, it's a lot easier if we can make our connections in a single, central hub. Uptown Station does exactly that by gathering inter-city buses, Amtrak rail, transit, and taxis along the primary leg of a major inter-city bicycle and pedestrian trail. The new center--less than four miles from the Central Illinois Regional Airport--also features plenty of parking.
When people arrive at the new station, they need only step outside to experience all that Uptown has to offer.
A $22 million grant from DOT's TIGER program is one reason the $54 million project was able to proceed from vision to reality.
As Mayor Koos said on Saturday, this project was more than 11 years in the making; it was a project many said could not be done. I was gratified to hear that because TIGER was designed to help communities like Normal turn their smart planning into projects that work.
And across the nation, through four rounds of TIGER funding, we're helping 218 different projects in all 50 states make the jump from plans on paper to better transportation and more jobs. From north to south and east to west, DOT is moving America forward.