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WisDOT halts letting for Milwaukee train station project

By Adam Wise

The state’s plans to seek bids in February for the Milwaukee Intermodal Station passenger concourse reconstruction have been called off indefinitely.

John Oimoen, the state Department of Transportation’s passenger rail program chief, said the department won’t let the contract Feb. 14 for the reconstruction as originally planned because the department is waiting to see if it has to redesign the project.

The project, which will modernize and upgrade the Intermodal Station to meet federal American with Disabilities Act standards, is estimated to cost the department up to $17 million. Construction was set to begin by the end of March, Oimoen said, and expected to last between 12 and 14 months.

A recent notification from the U.S. Department of Transportation raised concern about platform heights, he said. The current design calls for a two-step drop users would have to take from the platform to board a train car.

But the federal government’s new standards regarding boarding platforms could change that, he said, requiring a redesign.

“They want level boarding from the car on to the platform so that there’s no step or anything needed there,” Oimoen said.

WisDOT has asked for an exception for its project, as the design is already complete, he said, but is still waiting for clarification from the government.

“We’re waiting to understand what this means for the project,” he said.

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