Ann Arbor park advisory commission meeting (May 17, 2011): This month’s PAC meeting focused on one topic – an update on the proposed Fuller Road Station, a large parking structure, bus depot and possible train station being planned on city-owned property near the University of Michigan’s medical campus.
Eli Cooper, the city of Ann Arbor’s transportation program manager, reprised a presentation he’s given dozens of times over the last two years to various public bodies and community groups. The newest details relate to recent federal funding earmarked for the project – $2.8 million from the Federal Rail Administration, to pay for environmental assessment and engineering at the site. Cooper admitted he had started to feel a bit like the boy who cried “Wolf!” regarding potential funding, but he noted that the “wolf” has materialized – in the form of the grant award.
The $2.8 million won’t come close to covering the estimated $121 million cost of the full project, including a rail station, which is estimated to cost about $18 million. But more than the funding itself, Cooper said, the award is significant because it indicates the FRA’s willingness to be the lead federal agency for this project.
Cooper also reported that the agreement being crafted by UM and city staff is nearing completion, and will likely be made public within a month. It will govern the construction, operation and maintenance of Fuller Road Station, and will include details about the project’s financing. Cooper told PAC that they would have the chance to review the agreement before it heads to the city council for approval.