Doyle says Monona Terrace is 'correct choice' for Amtrak station

Friday, May 07, 2010

From an article by Matthew DeFour in the Wisconsin State Journal:

In an announcement that Madison officials hailed as a boon for Downtown, Gov. Jim Doyle said Thursday that the “obvious, correct choice” for an Amtrak station is near Monona Terrace.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz pledged to expand by 400 spaces a planned parking ramp reconstruction in the next two years to accommodate what he said should be called “Gov. Jim Doyle/Monona Terrace Station.”

The governor, Cieslewicz said, “made absolutely the right decision, and in some ways a courageous decision, and one that is going to benefit the city of Madison for generations to come.”

Both leaders emphasized that a lot of work still needs to be done, including selecting the exact location of the station. Department of Transportation Executive Assistant Chris Klein confirmed the state is looking at three state-owned buildings along Wilson Street where the station would be housed and vertical access to a platform would need to be built.

The $810 million federal stimulus grant to develop intercity rail between Madison and Milwaukee has $24 million earmarked for station development. Part of that would be used for the Madison station, Doyle said, but “the station is not going to be a Taj Mahal.”

Cieslewicz said that if the city wants to make the station “a more significant entrance to the city, then obviously the city is going to have to think about stepping up and paying for that.”