BY ELIZABETH BASTIAN, Perspectives Editor

Imagine being able to travel to Chicago in less than four hours from campus, with the other options of quickly going to Detroit, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and Kalamazoo. In just over a year, this idea will be a reality.

On April 10, 2012, ground was broken at 20201 Michigan Avenue (just west of Evergreen) for the new Dearborn Intermodal Passenger Rail Station, a segment of the federally funded Midwest high speed rail corridor spanning between Detroit and Chicago, with planned stops in all of the previously mentioned cities. Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr., Senator Carl Levin, and Representative John Dingell were among the 80+ key transportation and industry leaders in attendance on Tuesday.

The Henry Ford hosted the event, as the station will feature a pedestrian bridge over Greenfield Village’s train tracks so that riders can easily enter the historical complex directly. Proximity to the Rouge River Gateway Trail as well as new traffic lights across Michigan Avenue will offer access to pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as a quick path to the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Henry Ford Community College.

Other features of the station include bike racks, connections to Amtrak’s Wolverine line traveling from Pontiac to Detroit, a bus depot for SMART, DDOT, charter, and Greyhound buses, and access to taxis and other personal vehicles. In addition, the entire complex will be U.S. Green Council L.E.E.D. (Leadership in Environment and Energy Design) certified.

The new station is said to be a new gateway to Southeastern Michigan, one that will hopefully bring more tourists and travelers into the region and provide the local economy with a much-needed boost.
Completion of the station’s construction is expected by fall 2013.