Bob Garrett of PennDOT visited borough council’s work session last night and told council PennDOT is recommending Parkesburg’s future train station be built at the site of the existing train station.
The announcement came as a surprise to at least one councilperson who asked why there and not in the space between Borough Hall and Rocco & Anna’s.
Garrett replied they had been back to town several times in the months following the August 2011 workshop and concluded the historical value of the existing station and surrounding area was too significant to overlook.
Highlights of the phased station project, an undertaking 100% funded with federal monies, Garrett announced last night are:
- 500 foot platforms on both sides of the track stretching from the existing station pavilions to East Bridge Street.
- Rehabilitate the East Bridge Street bridge into a pedestrian walkway providing a way for train passengers and residents alike to safely cross the tracks.
- 250 shared parking spaces would be built in several small parking lots lots stretching from the 200 block of Main Street on the north and First Avenue on the south to the 500 block of both streets. The shared spots would be available to passengers riding the trains as well as visitors and customers to nearby businesses, churches and Wilde Funeral Home.
- A path linking the various parking lots with the train station would be built in the railroad right of way. The pathway would give train passengers parking in and around the borough building a short one or two block walk to the train station.
- Build a fence between the tracks running the entire length of the Borough preventing pedestrians from walking across the tracks, something that happens frequently today.
- The Culvert Street sidewalk would be improved but not widened. Widening the sidewalk to be ADA compliant would make traversing the underpass all but impossible for car and light truck traffic.
Mr. Garrett estimated the new station and supporting infrastructure including parking lots and walkways will cost of between $10-12 million to build and stated the plans won’t be finalized until after environmental studies are done in 2015 .
He went on to state that it isn’t likely that construction would begin much before 2018.
A formal announcement and presentation of PennDOT’s train station plans will be made at Councils regularly scheduled council meeting at 7:00 PM on March 19th.
For a complete history of the project up to this point visit PennDOT’s “Plan The Keystone” website here.