PennDOT seeks private partner to develop Middletown Amtrak station

State transportation officials are looking for a private-sector partner to develop parking and retail in the area of Middletown’s revitalized train station.

Work on the new station and platform, estimated to cost $24.4 million, is expected to start late in 2018.

Site preparation, under a $2.6 million contract, is underway and is expected to be completed in May 2017.

PennDOT officials say their vision is that the partner will develop, design, build, finance, operate and maintain parking facilities that provide at least 400 parking spaces in an eight-acre tract near the newly relocated AMTRAK station, as well as undertake possible commercial/retail development.

Such “public-private” partnerships, also known as P3s, were established under a 2012 law.

In addition, the partner will construct an Emaus Street extension as well as a pedestrian bridge over Route 230 to the Penn State-Harrisburg campus. The partner will be required to maintain the project site for at least 30 years.

The development will complement the work PennDOT, AMTRAK and Norfolk-Southern are doing to build the new Middletown station.

PennDOT will host an industry forum on Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel on Lindle Road to outline the P3 partner concept for the area around the station, which is on the Amtrak Keystone line.

Interested parties have 60 days to respond with a statement of qualifications.

“The Keystone Line offers an attractive travel option for more than one million riders a year and enhancing stations along the route can help attract even more riders,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Renewed stations also help build strong surrounding communities and that is the goal of our P3 plans.”

Norfolk Southern is expected to start an estimated $6.5 million in track work later this year, while Amtrak’s track work, estimated to cost roughly $4.3 million, will start late next year.

“Our goal is to build transit ridership at the Middletown station and add an attractive transportation and commercial hub for the community,” Richards said.

Roger DuPuis
Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com.

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