Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Expanded Parking Approved for Amtrak Station

PennDot has approved $11.6 million in funding for revising and expanding parking availability at the Lancaster train station, it was announced Monday at the Lancaster County Planning Commission. About 120 parking spaces will be added to better serve passengers and Amtrak workers in nearby facilities.

According to Christopher Neumann of the Lancaster Planning Commission, Customer parking is moving to the west side of the station; employee parking is moving to the east (or current customer parking area). Bus loading and unloading will also be on the east side.

Bids will be prepared over the next two months. County officials hope groundbreaking will occur before the end of the year. The project is expected to last approximately 18 months, once construction starts.

Unfortunately, parking spaces at or near the Amtrak station will be in even shorter supply during much of the reconstruction period.

The county will provide $400,000 to the $12 million project.

Lancaster County residents are now using the Amtrak station at a record-setting pace. Commissioners were told daily usage now tops over 1,000 passengers a day.

NewsLanc has requested an electronic copy of the revised plans and will post it upon receipt. The earlier plan showed about 70 fewer proposed spaces but was radically revised after authorities were alerted to its shortcomings by reports from NewsLanc.