It's full steam ahead for Houston's Grand Central Station

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Metro is moving ahead with its plans to build an intermodal transit center:

Metro authorities are ready to make a deal with Union Pacific for property just north of downtown, hoping to turn a portion of its sprawling rail yard into a central station for Metro buses and trains.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority board Tuesday voted to have staff negotiate the purchase of nine acres of the railroad’s Hardy Yard, bordered roughly by Main to the west, Elysian to the east, Burnett to the North and Lyons and Conti to the south.

The site is near North Main about a half-mile from the University of Houston-Downtown station at the north end of Metro’s present Red Line, to which it would connect.

Metro spokesman George Smalley said the agency wants to build an “intermodal” terminal to “provide a nucleus” for buses and pedestrians to connect with the Red Line and future light rail or Bus Rapid Transit on the planned North, East End and Southeast lines.

Metro’s long-term plans also call for a commuter rail line from U.S. 290 and northwest Houston that could terminate at the site, he said.

All property owners within a five football field radius of this site should be wary.

Would you like to comment on this project? Rad Sallee’s story includes this:

A public meeting on the project is set for 5:30 p.m. June 8 at Ketelsen Elementary School, 600 Quitman.

KEVIN WHITED ADDS: This is my favorite part of the story:

Although the yard is little used today for switching, UP’s track through the site is busy and, for safety reasons, probably would not be shared with light rail, Arbona said.

Good thinking! And if it’s not safe over there, maybe it’s not such a good idea to run it down Richmond? Just a thought!

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.