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Fort Madison Mayor Reaching Out to Iowa DOT About Depot Money

Jason Parrott
Fort Madison Mayor Brad Randolph is reaching out to the Iowa DOT to try to secure more state money to build a passenger platform at the depot.

Fort Madison has been working for more than a decade to relocate Amtrak from its 20th Street station to the historic train depot in Riverview Park. Mayor Brad Randolph said he plans to meet with the state to try to keep the project moving ahead.

The city must add a passenger platform to the depot before Amtrak will move downtown. The lone construction bid for the project came in at roughly $2.8 million, twice as much as the engineer’s estimate of $1.4 million.

The city has said it does not have enough money to make up the difference, so the city council must choose whether to rebid the project or put it on hold until funds are available.

Aldermen were expected to make the decision during their meeting on October 1. They instead agreed to give Randolph time to meet face-to-face with representatives of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Randolph told the city council this is a DOT project and he had to “do something” to try to keep it going. He noted that roughly six months ago, the agency was able to find an extra $400,000 for the project when it appeared Fort Madison would not be able to cover its share.

Randolph said the timeline for him and First Ward Alderman Chris Greenwald to meet with the DOT is tight. That’s because the $2.8 million construction bid expires in a few weeks.