PARKESBURG – April 18, 2017 – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that $3.5 million in funding has been allocated for the initial design work, surveying, and environmental studies related to the significant upgrades planned for Parkesburg Train Station.

“This is a big, first step for Parkesburg – one that will be central to the ongoing revitalization and redevelopment efforts in the borough’s downtown business district,” Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Transportation Committee, said.

At Dinniman’s request, Steve Panko, Transportation Planning Manager with PennDOT, attended the April 17 Parkesburg Borough Council meeting and informed local officials that as a result of a recent meeting between Amtrak and PennDOT, $3.5 million in funding has been allocated for preliminary work related to the major rail station improvements slated for Parkesburg.

The funds will be used for surveying, required environmental evaluation, and conceptual plans for the station, which saw nearly 47,000 riders last year.

Once conceptual plans and renderings are completed they will be presented to borough council and the general public for input and feedback at a public meeting and work session.

“This is your train station and I am committed to working with PennDOT and Parkesburg Borough Council to ensure that the public is informed of and involved in the process every step of the way, so that the new station meets the needs of Parkesburg area residents, businesses, and commuters,” Dinniman said.

In the meantime, Dinniman also plans to work to utilize the existing funding to address ADA concerns and accessibility issues related to the station in the short term. Specifically, Dinniman said significant roadway repairs are needed to Maple Street, which approaches the stations, as well as the station parking lot, where the pavement has deteriorated.

“If there are improvements we can do now, let’s do them. Let’s get started,” he said.

In addition, SEPTA recently conducted a feasibility study on returning service to Parkesburg and Dinniman said he would continue to make that a reality.

Dinniman also noted that a majority of the design work has been completed on the West Bridge Street crossing in Parkesburg, which has been closed for some time. PennDOT is awaiting approvals from Amtrak and Norfolk Southern to complete and finalize the design.

Parkesburg is one of five Chester County communities where work is either underway or on tap for major train station upgrades. Updates on the four other stations and related redevelopment work are as follows:

  • Construction is currently underway on major upgrades to both the Exton and Paoli Train Stations. Work on those projects, which was accelerated due to a federal judge’s ruling on an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit, is slated for completion next year.
  • A formal announcement is forthcoming on plans for both the new Downingtown Train Station and commuter-oriented housing and neighborhood-style stores along the Brandywine Creek. The Hankin Group and PennDOT are working together on that project, which includes commuter access and parking, as well as residential, commercial and mixed-use units. Part of the agreement also calls for the demolition of the abandoned Sonoco Paper Mill, which closed in 2009 and has been an eyesore for residents and visitors.
  • In Coatesville, the Third Avenue Streetscape Project, the first phase of revitalization work related to the new Coatesville Train Station, has received final PennDOT approval. Design work is complete on the streetscape project and it is currently in the bidding process.

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