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FM Depot Platform to be Built

Fort Madison will soon begin the final phase of the renovation of the former Santa Fe Depot in Riverview Park.

City Manager Byron Smith says an agreement has been reached between the city, Amtrak, Burlington Northern/Santa Fe and the Federal Railroad Administration on the length of the loading platform.

He says the city initially wanted to build a 500' long platform.

Smith says the agreement calls for a 1000' long platform to address accessibility concerns.

"What that will do is allow the Amtrak trains to stop once," says Smith.  "The crew and the passengers can disembark and embark all in one place."

Smith says the plans for the platform have been sent to the Iowa Department of Transportation for review.

The project could go out for bid in January with work getting underway in the spring.

Smith says the construction of the new platform should cost about $1-million.  He says a state grant should cover about 80% of that with the city paying the rest.

Smith says a verbal agreement is in place for Amtrak to move downtown, with a lease being negotiated.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.