The state Department of Transportation estimates a Madison passenger rail station next to Monona Terrace will cost about $12 million, though city officials are already contemplating additions that could drive up the local share of the cost.
The estimate, along with more detailed design sketches, were showcased Tuesday evening at the state's Department of Administration building, 101 E. Wilson St., where the train station will be located. About 150 people attended.
State and city officials still have to negotiate a final cost-sharing arrangement for the station, DOT Divisions Operations Director Paul Trombino said. The state plans to own and operate the station, he said.
The state had budgeted $24 million for station development — including $9 million for Madison and $5 million each for Watertown, Oconomowoc and Brookfield — but has since dropped plans for an Oconomowoc station. Some of the money for Oconomowoc could go toward the Madison station, but the cost of other stations remains unknown, Trombino said.
Madison has already committed to building a 1,200-stall underground parking structure on the site of the dilapidated Government East parking ramp across Wilson Street from the DOA building. An already-planned 800-stall structure was anticipated to cost $23.5 million, and the train station will require 400 of its own stalls.
Though the DOT concept includes locating an intercity bus boarding area on Pinckney Street next to the parking ramp, the city anticipates locating a public market and bicycle parking facility on the ground floor.
Madison transit planner David Trowbridge said the city is considering ways to create an intercity bus boarding area either on an expanded top parking deck of Monona Terrace or on the opposite side of John Nolen Drive from the train platform. The cost of either option is unknown.
"I don't want a lot of drop-offs on Wilson Street because of the future land use," Trowbridge said. "A pedestrian environment is not quite as compatible with taxis zooming in and out."
The drawings gave the public a glimpse of the first-floor plan for the DOA building and how passengers would reach the train tracks from Wilson Street.
Visitors would enter through the existing front doors and see ticket counters, retail outlets and bathrooms where the Wisconsin Arts Board offices are currently located. The existing cafeteria would be remodeled into a restaurant and seating area.
A short skywalk would connect to passengers to the top floor of a new, four-story, free-standing platform structure with elevators and escalators. Passengers could also access the structure on the third floor from the parking lot of Monona Terrace off of Pinckney Street.
The platform concept envisions a narrow, glass-paneled structure with an undulating roof resembling a sideways wishbone. The wave design would complement the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Monona Terrace design, Trombino said.
The 26-foot-wide platform would sit between two tracks to allow freight trains to travel unimpeded while passenger trains to Milwaukee load.