By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN – With construction delays at the Intermodal Passenger Rail Station pushing back the completion date for the project, the city council authorized nearly $185,000 in additional funds to be used to pay contract costs for additional architect and engineer services.
The authorization came at the April 15 council meeting and will push the budget for the architect and engineering services to just over $2.7 million.
Council President Susan Dabaja said the work at the station, which was scheduled to be completed last August, has been set back about a year due to “circumstances beyond the city or design team’s control.”
She said there were a few reasons for the delays, including the sale of the railroad right-of-way between Dearborn and Kalamazoo by Norfolk Southern Railroad last year and the additional planning required to prepare a movable platform for the new station.
“There have been delays in the project but hopefully the work will be completed soon,” Dabaja said.
The construction is expected to be complete in August.
The construction of the station is being federally funded with $28.2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
That act allocated money to the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration which in turn gave the money to the Michigan Department of Transportation for the project.
While work continues at the new station, the lease Amtrak operates under at its current station behind the 19th District Courthouse will continue on a month-to-month basis.
Amtrak has been leasing the building since 1978, but the latest lease expired April 1, causing the rail company to ask the city to adjust its lease from an annual to a monthly payment.
Dabaja said the new lease agreement will take immediate effect and will continue until the new station is complete and Amtrak moves out of the current one.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected].)