Site near Monona Terrace picked for rail station

Thursday, May 06, 2010

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

Madison’s Amtrak station will be located Downtown near Monona Terrace, Gov. Jim Doyle announced Thursday.

“The Monona Terrace station will maximize ridership to and from Madison and will provide easy access to other forms of transportation, the State Capitol, the convention center, businesses and hotels,” Doyle said. “There were several other very good potential locations in Madison, but when considering all the factors, the Monona Terrace is clearly the best option.”

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, who also spoke at the announcement, said he hoped the station would be named after Doyle. Cieslewicz added that he did not consult with governor on that matter.

“Bringing high-speed rail to the heart of downtown Madison creates tremendous potential for economic development, regional transportation and a successful rail line for years to come,” Cieslewicz said. “I want to thank Governor Doyle for his incredible leadership in bringing high-speed rail to Madison and bringing the station to the Monona Terrace.”

To accommodate the station in an already dense area, the city plans to speed up the planned demolition and replacement of the Government East parking ramp with a 1,200-space underground ramp. The previous plan for that ramp had been for 800 parking spaces, but another level was added to accommodate the estimated 400 to 600 spaces needed for the train station.

The state had previously said it was analyzing four sites in Madison for a station, including Monona Terrace, the Kohl Center, the Dane County Regional Airport and the corner of First Street and East Washington Avenue, known as Yahara Station.

Although the exact site has not been chosen, the station will be along Wilson Street, east or west of the convention center. Possible options include the State Office Building, 1 W. Wilson St., and 121 E. Wilson St.