Thursday, July 9, 2009

Update on train station project

What's the status of the Elizabethtown Train Station project? WGAL's Meredith Jorgensen did a great update story on July 8.

In the meantime, here are the details:

Bids were opened about two weeks ago, and the apparent low bidder is Lobar Construction of Dillsburg, with a bid of $5.9 million. That's nearly $2 million less than what the borough, Amtrak and PennDOT were estimating. Because the project is being funded with federal stimulus money, the borough will likely return a balance of the money so the government can allocate it to other projects.

At the moment, borough staff and PennDOT are discussing how much the borough needs for contingency funds and to address alternate bids, one of which potentially can lower the cost of the project. Borough Manager Pete Whipple said PennDOT and the borough should complete those talks in time for Borough Council to make an official recommendation by its July 16 meeting.

If all goes well, work could begin next month.


  1. Can the scope of the project be changed? Aka, can it be expanded to cover off-site parkings costs, etc. so that we can use all the money that's coming Etown borough's way?

  2. The $5.9M bid is just for the construction of the new platform and relatd work (such as bringing it into ADA compliance) and rehab of the old train station building. Parking will be bid later, and Elizabethtown is receiving about $1.4M in stimulus money specifically for parking. Can the scope be changed? It's a good question that I'm checking and will get an answer.

  3. Here's the scoop on the funding and whether the scope of the project can be changed so that E-town can receive all $9.4M in federal stimulus dollars (this was in two grants, $8M for train station construction and $1.4M for parking lot work):

    The funding cannot be reallocated to another local project. E-town and PennDOT worked out an agreement that any excess funding would be used to aid in the development of the other train stations along the Keystone Corridor. The second stimulus grant (approx. $1.4 million) is to acquire and develop the off-site parking lot as you mentioned in your blog.

    Federal stimulus funds are being followed very closely and we want to adhere to the documents as stated. Moreover, we provided very conservative estimates to PennDOT not knowing what the bidding climate would be like a year ago.

    The bottom line is that we have been working on the train station project for the past 13 years.


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