by John David Suayan
The City of Galveston and the Port of Galveston on Wednesday hosted the grand opening of the Downtown Intermodal Transportation Terminal.
Galveston County Navigation District No. 1 Chair Vandy Anderson served as the master of ceremonies. Anderson began the program by paraphrasing a quote from President John F. Kennedy’s “We choose to go to the moon” speech. Listen (3:41)
“We all do these things (not) because they are easy; we do it because they are hard,” said
Anderson, adding the terminal is among the “hard” things Galveston has done.
The terminal serves as the terminus and headquarters of Island Transit. Located at 25th Street and Strand, it is a project of the Galveston Livable Communities Initiative.
It also offers additional parking spaces for Downtown and will house three retailers.
Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Terrilyn Tarlton acknowledged the partnership between the city and the port in the terminal’s construction. Listen (2:09)
“As the mayor pro tem of the City of Galveston, it is an honor to stand before you today to celebrate the grand opening of the Galveston Transit Terminal,” said Tarlton. “This new facility was made possible through the partnership of the City of Galveston and the Port of Galveston, providing a much-needed space for Island Transit. Now both residents and visitors alike will have access to an indoor lobby with a heated area and restrooms, which is great. And of course friendly faces all conveniently located in the heart of downtown.”
Tarlton said the city is excited to have “a true terminal designated with the riders in mind.”
“On behalf of the city council and the all the citizens of Galveston, we’re so proud to see this long-awaited project come into fruition,” she said.
Transportation consultant Barry Goodman of The Goodman Corporation called the project “a long and winding road,” thanking his co-consultant John Carrara and the project team. Listen (3:43)
“We have talked about this through many city administrations – at least five or six that I know of,” said Goodman. “And we finally are here today. We think that this is just one component of a growing network of mobility improvement to serve the citizens of the city and tourists and others.”
Goodman also thanked the port, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Texas Department of Transportation, as well as read a letter former United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison wrote to Mayor Jim Yarbrough.
Anderson recognized City Manager Brian Maxwell and staffers from State Representative Wayne Faircloth’s and U.S. Congressman Randy Weber’s respective offices.
Port Director Mike Mierzwa said it was a “great day.” Listen (4:56)
“It took us 15 years to get here,” said Mierzwa. “We’re finally here.”
The port director recognized past and present members of the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves, including former chair Roland Bassett. He additionally credited Powers Brown Architecture and Turner Construction Company, who designed and built the terminal, respectively.
Mierzwa informed the crowd that the terminal is the first building on The Strand that is at Federal Emergency Management Agency-mandated flood level.
“I think it’s a wonderful addition to The Strand,” he said.
Stephen L. Oliver of Powers Brown said it was “a treat to work on this project.”
Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce President Gina Spagnola and GRCC Director of Membership Development Lindsey Serrette helped city and port officials cut the ribbon to the terminal.
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