On Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter broke ground on a $9.3 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project to renovate the Elizabethtown (Pa.) Amtrak station.
“The Recovery Act is working in Pennsylvania as intended: It’s putting people to work right now, while making long-term investments in our roads, bridges, transit systems, airports, and seaports,” Secretary LaHood said. “Thanks to the Recovery Act dollars, the Elizabethtown station will receive critical improvements to meet the demands of travelers who depend on Amtrak while generating good-paying jobs and boosting the local economy.”
“I am pleased that stimulus funding is being used to advance important transportation and infrastructure projects in Pennsylvania,” Specter said. “Reconstruction of the Elizabethtown rail station will benefit Amtrak riders and help sustain increasing ridership along the Keystone Corridor.”
In the last five years, ridership at the Elizabethtown station has increased more than 93 percent; the station now serves more than 80,000 passengers. Recovery Act funds will be used to renovate the current Elizabethtown Amtrak station building, reconstruct and triple the size of each rail platform and provide other upgrades. Lobar Inc. won the prime contract on the Elizabethtown project with a bid 11 percent below initial budget estimates.
To date, the U.S. Department of Transportation has obligated more than $25 billion in Recovery Act funds nationwide for over 7,700 projects. Pennsylvania has already obligated $1.1 billion to fund more than 272 approved transportation projects.