Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Commissioners Set to Approve Amtrak Funding

At their weekly meeting, Wednesday, the County Commissioners are expected to approve $233,350 in additional County funding for renovations to the Lancaster Amtrak Station.

The additional funding completes the $400,000 in matching funds the County of Lancaster needs to pay in order to secure state and federal funds for the project.

Federal funding in the amount of $9,600,000 comes from two sources - one program which awards funding for transportation enhancements and another which rewards projects that reduce congestion and help improve air quality.

State grants will provide five times the County match, or $2 million.

The total cost of the renovations will be "in the neighborhood of $12 million," according to Senior Transportation Planner Chris Neumann.

This does not include $1.5 million the County has already spent on engineering and design services for the station.

"We hope to have the project under construction this fall," he said, Tuesday.

When finally completed by 2010, the new Amtrak station is expected to include retail stores, restaurants, new Amtrak offices, expanded parking, a separate waiting area for bus passengers, upgrades to the heating and air conditioning systems, and streetscape improvements.