Work on a $27.7 million train station coming to downtown Buffalo is expected to begin in early 2019 and be completed by the fall of 2020.
The New York State Department of Transportation also announced Wednesday that Hohl Industrial Services and Scrufari Construction will construct the brick, three-story station on Exchange Street using the existing Amtrak station's footprint. Buffalo firm Foit-Albert Associates is the architect.
The current Amtrak station location was chosen over the Central Terminal, which the public endorsed at public meetings and through comments, by a committee convened by Mayor Byron W. Brown in April 2017.
Critics of the location continue to push for another location, believing the chosen site is poorly located and ill-suited to interact with other modes of transportation.
Design and engineering will start immediately, with field work beginning in January and construction expected to follow later in the winter, according to Joe Morrissey, a Department of Transportation spokesman.
The new station is expected to be more than double the size of the current one. It will be elevated and moved closer to the street to improve access and visibility.
The station's low-level platform will be replaced by a longer train-level platform for easier boarding with new lighting and a canopy.
An image of a Buffalo will be featured in the center of the station's Terrazzo floor, and a Taste NY kiosk will provide food and drink options for passengers.
A planned second phase of the project calls for expanding the station to accommodate intercity bus service, as well as additional train routes if the need arises.
A temporary station will be utilized after the current station is demolished and before the new one is erected.
"This announcement is another step forward to modernize and enhance public accessibility and passenger experience in downtown Buffalo," Brown said in a statement.
Assembly members and Buffalo Democrats Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Sean Ryan and State Senator Tim Kennedy joined the mayor in saying the new train station will be a boon to downtown and an improvement for passengers.