The Galveston Intermodal Transportation Committee on Wednesday was updated on the Downtown Transportation Terminal project by John Carrara of The Goodman Corporation. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“As you all know, the city has approved the agreement with Mitchell Historic Properties to develop a terminal and parking facility on their behalf,” Carrara said. “The Mitchell group will issue a request for qualifications next week for architects and engineers, a design team to design this facility.”
Carrara said the terminal will be a free standing facility.
“It won’t be connected to the Shearn Moody garage or anything else,” he said. “It will be its own facility for the terminal – public restrooms, parking for at least 150 cars above.”
Carrara also discussed the proposed commuter rail project to connect Houston and Galveston.
“What’s really holding up things right now is getting a federal grant approval that will fund the work that will be done in the next phase,” Carrara said. “The other thing that is anticipated for this next phase, which will basically be all of 2011, will be negotiating with Union Pacific for the right-of-way purchase.”
“There has been a rampant rumor in Galveston that the rail project in general is DOA,” said committee member Lesley Sommer. “I’m glad to hear that y’all are still moving forward.”
“It’s not dead but between two counties, 11 municipalities, Houston METRO and the Gulf Coast Rail District – add them all together - there’s not enough money to do a half billion dollar, or even a scaled down $200 million program. So we are trying to do other things that will help keep things moving, keep it on life support, so that when the economy picks up everybody feels like they have more bonding capacity or whatever, then we’ll be able to move forward on the implementation.”
“Is there any individual person who is a champion of this project, either in the city or the county?” asked Jim Casey, the chair of the committee.
“Well, Judge Yarbrough was a champion of the project,” Carrara responded.
“What about Harris County?” asked committee member Leonce Thiery.
“Sylvia Garcia was a champion; she’s out of office also,” Carrara said, stressing that there still is considerable support for the project “The mayor of League City has been a big supporter, the city council of Galveston is a supporter.”
Carrara also updated the committee on Seawall streetscape improvements, including the groundbreaking for the improvements at Fort Crockett Park.