The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $7.5 million to help build part of Anaheim’s planned regional transportation center.
The train and bus station, known as the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center or ARTIC, originally was supposed to handle high-speed trains in addition to commuter rail and bus lines.
But as things stand now, there are not specific plans for high-speed rail at the station.
Even so, the station will cost at least $184 million, according to figures posted on the city’s website, with most of it — $143.1 million — coming from the Orange County Transportation Authority. OCTA collects a half-cent sales tax to improve bus, road and commuter rail service in the county.
Anaheim officials didn’t return phone calls seeking updated information on the cost of finishing the ARTIC station, how the $7.5 million will be used or how they plan to accommodate high-speed rail.
In 2010 the city asked the California High-Speed Rail Authority for $200 million to allow the planned station to handle high-speed rail.
The “iconic” Anaheim terminal “is not an expandable structure, and all program space needs to be accounted for in the initial design so as not to preclude services being provided in the future,” a proposed memorandum of understanding states.
The High Speed Rail Authority never acted on the request. At the time, former Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle also was chairman of the rail authority.
The city’s request to the rail authority estimated that adding high-speed rail would increase the cost of terminal facilities from the original $178.9 million to $380 million.
The city has contracted with the architectural firm HOK and the international construction company Parsons Brinkerhoff to design and build the terminal.
Under terms of a 2008 ballot proposal approved by voters, the planned California high-speed rail network is supposed to run from Anaheim to San Francisco.
But the project has run into many management, financial and political problems and may wind up simply running commuter trains on its north and south ends, including Anaheim.
The $7.5-million federal grant awarded by the federal Department of Transportation came from its Bus Livability and State of Good Repair programs.
— TRACY WOOD