Immediate Release

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Thursday, March 21, 2020

David Andrews

Cooperative Transit Project Planning
Helps Renovations at Historic Union Station

Oneida County Executive Ralph J. Eannace Jr. today announced that the Herkimer-Oneida Counties Governmental Policy and Liaison Committee has endorsed using more federal funds to continue renovations to Utica’s historic Union Station.

"This landmark is coming back to life, and that process is going to continue," said Eannace, who is chairman of the committee, made up of officials from local and county governments as well as state government and transit operators. It is responsible for planning decisions that involve federal funding for key transportation projects in the two-county region.

"One of the most exciting transportation projects in our region has been the rebirth of Union Station," Eannace said. "By the end of this year, we will be completing work on the passenger bridge now under construction and begin reconstruction work on the canopies on the outside of the building. All the work will be in keeping with the building’s historic character, as will some new signs that will enhance the period atmosphere of this great landmark."

Coupled with this infusion of transportation dollars is the county’s investment in the historic facility, Eannace said. "We have spent more than $4 million in renovations to house county departments at Union Station, which has not only been an economic shot in the arm to downtown, but added life to this outstanding gem of Utica’s heritage."

The Herkimer-Oneida Counties Governmental Policy and Liaison Committee works with the Herkimer-Oneida Counties Transportation Study and Herkimer-Oneida Counties Comprehensive Planning Program to prioritize and allocate federal, state and local transportation dollars. Because the committee’s voting membership includes many local elected officials, it serves as a forum for cooperative decision making by elected officials of individual local governments on issues affecting multiple jurisdictions. The committee also includes representation from the state Department of Transportation and local transit providers..

"Because we work as a team, the needs of the region are considered as a whole. But also, because this group is made up of local officials, we worry about very specific projects as well," Eannace said. "Through our cooperative efforts that bring community and county officials together, along with the vital assistance received from Congressman Boehlert through his support of federal funds for our transportation needs, our region is able to move ahead with important projects to improve our roads, bridges and our terrific train stations in Rome and Utica."