Local leaders and Amtrak officials gathered Monday to mark the completion of a $2.6 million improvement project at the local train station.
The event included short remarks from Amtrak officials as well as local leaders before the ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The previous asphalt platform and shelter were removed and replaced with a new 300-foot concrete platform with a new heated waiting shelter. New station signage, a mobile lift enclosure and energy efficient LED light fixtures that improve lighting along the platform and pathways were included in the upgrades.
An accessible walkway from the public right-of-way to the platform and two new ADA-accessible parking stalls also were part of the project.
Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton was pleased with the upgrade.
“The other station was really worn and it’s nice to see that we could get upgraded,” he said. “And the ADA improvements are important as well because before you could not board the train here if you had those needs.”
To date, Amtrak has completed 171 ADA station-related projects as part of the ADA Stations Program, including 20 additional stations meeting ADA compliance last fiscal year for $82 million. Another 29 stations are targeted for completion this fiscal year at a forecasted investment of $113 million.
The program is also advancing 120 station designs and 40 station construction projects as part of its ongoing commitment to providing accessibility for all of our customers. Since 2011, Amtrak has invested more than $489 million in accessibility upgrades throughout the country.
Crawfordsville is served three times a week by the Amtrak Cardinal, with service to and from Chicago and New York City, via Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Washington.
Barton said usage studies have shown that more people from other counties use the station than local residents, but he and other proponents of public transportation hope that will change in the future.
Dr. Helen Hudson is a longtime supporter of public transportation and the local Amtrak station. In the spring of 2006 she and several of her Crawfordsville High School students, secured grants and volunteered their time on various beautification projects at the station. Hudson and many students worked over the next 15 years to maintain the area replacing broken windows, adding fencing, painting murals, removing weeds and trash and planting gardens. She was on hand for Monday’s ceremonies.
“It really is a beautiful big surprise,” Hudson said of the upgraded. “It’s very elegant looking, and efficient and clearly is ADA compliant.”
She hopes more people will use the station and see how easy it is to travel to Chicago, at least three times a week.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here