At a public meeting on May 21, 2013, engineers from Michael Baker Corporation presented the 25% design plans for the future passenger rail platform to a crowd of roughly 30 people at the Holyoke Transportation Center. The platform will be located at South end of Dwight Street, just south of the intersection of Dwight and Main Streets.
The platform will feature a “butterfly” canopy with runoff directed into rain gardens. The canopy design was modeled after the current canopy and bus births at the Holyoke Transportation Center. The platform itself will be a 12 foot wide, low-level concrete platform and will be roughly 400 feet long. It will be served by stairs and an ADA accessible ramp and have a transparent windscreen for passengers waiting for the train. The site design features approximately 20 parking spaces and well lit areas for cars and passengers. Landscape and Streetscape enhancements will also be made to the site including to the outward facing area along Main Street.
The design of the platform is being funded by a Regional Sustainable Communities Grant from HUD that was awarded to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. Holyoke had joined the PVPC application with other communities around the Valley, and the City’s proposal targeted efforts to spur transit oriented development of the Depot Square area. In addition to the design of the platform, the grant funded the thorough civic engagement process around the passenger rail platform known as Envision Depot Square. Last fall, four “pop-up” style events were held at and around the location of the platform, each to collect feedback and hear the community’s vision for Depot Square. Also being funded from the grant is a historical inventory of the area known as Depot Square and architectural renderings for future development of the historic H.H. Richardson-designed former passenger rail station located on Bowers Street. The H.H. Richardson station is currently owned by the Holyoke Gas & Electric and will be marketed to the private sector for a development complimentary to the passenger rail.
Due to the diligent work of the PVPC and the City, funding was found independently with the HUD grant secured for design and a $2 million MassWorks grant from the State for construction of the platform. Holyoke’s passenger rail platform is scheduled to be open for passengers to catch the first available train on the new Amtrak service.Share