Soon to cost $ 81.7 million and 928 spaces, Stamford suburban garage project makes official debut


STAMFORD – The road to a new suburban garage in Stamford has been far from easy, but on Monday morning, Connecticut officials celebrated progress on the postponed eternal project.

Five years after a deal to reinvent Stamford Transport Center and its crumbling state garage, Governor Ned Lamont, Transport Commissioner Joseph Giulietti and a crowd of elected officials gathered to present the one busiest stations in the northeast in the 21st century by building a new suburban garage.

“Parking shouldn’t be a problem,” Lamont said from a podium directly in front of the current garage, flanked by Stamford Mayor David Martin, U.S. Representative Jim Himes, D-Conn., And the delegation from Stamford to the State. legislature. “Parking should be easy, affordable, with a lot of capacity. This is what we are doing here.

Teams of engineers have already inaugurated the 928-space garage, a project that will cost the state $ 81.7 million, according to Giulietti. The entire building, which will feature a bridge that connects directly with one of the train platforms via a closed pedestrian route, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023.

The multi-million dollar car depot will only include a fraction of what the state originally planned to replace in 2013. That year, the Department of Transportation struck a deal with a private developer to create a complex. $ 500 million office, housing, retail and hotel next to station and relocate commuter parking a quarter mile. This proposal aroused the ire of commuters, who wanted the state to rebuild the existing garage instead.

The new building on Washington Boulevard will replace the existing public garage on Station Place, a 36-year-old structure that has been in trouble from the start. The state plans to demolish the structurally deficient half of the garage once the new parking lot is complete.

“This is top notch real estate,” Giulietti said of the plot. “We’re looking to attract investors so that we can offset some of our costs of launching an operation by maybe putting something in that will generate funds for the system. “

Even during the pandemic, the Stamford transport hub remained one of the busiest places on the Metro-North rail system. System data shows that more than 8.4 million people used Metro-North trains from the Stamford Transportation Center in 2016, making it the second busiest station behind Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

After seeing a 95% reduction in ridership at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, passenger numbers have since rebounded and hovered around 50% of pre-pandemic levels, Metro president said. -North, Catherine Rinaldi, at the ceremony. Almost two years after the virus started, 175 trains a day stop at Stamford station. Weekend train service is completely back to normal, and on weekdays 82% of regular trains visit the stop, she said.

While creating a better place for cars was the most obvious part of the garage redesign, the future of multimodal transport in Stamford was also at the center of the celebration.

Although future plans for the transportation hub itself are still incomplete, the state plans to repave and redesign all roads surrounding the garage and station, according to Giulietti. The paving would create dedicated service roads for the buses, taxis and carpools that frequent the station.

On top of that, he said, the new garage will make improvements for pedestrians on the streets to make both walking and cycling easier. The project will also connect nearby pedestrians to the Mill River Greenway project, the project that will connect Stamford from the South End to Mill River Park.

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