Construction starts in April on new $30M MetroRail station in downtown Austin

The downtown Austin MetroRail station on Fourth Street was originally built to be a temporary platform.

The downtown Austin MetroRail station on Fourth Street was originally built to be a temporary platform.

Image description
New downtown MetroRail station
Image description
New downtown MetroRail station
Image description
New downtown MetroRail station
Image description
downtown MetroRail station
A major MetroRail project will get underway this spring that will help Capital Metro make the most of its nine-year-old commuter rail line.

The downtown MetroRail station construction will start in April following a late March groundbreaking. Work includes expanding the station on Fourth Street adjacent to the Austin Convention Center to three train tracks.

“It’s a big project for Capital Metro,” agency President and CEO Randy Clarke said. “This is our opportunity to really fulfill the potential of the Red Line. It’s a good line, but to make it great, we really need to fund these investments.”

The transit agency’s board approved a construction contract Feb. 25 with Jay-Reese Contractors for an amount not to exceed $38.86 million. That amount includes the $30.72 million cost of construction with a 20 percent contingency of $6.14 million.

Other work in the construction contract includes constructing a new bridge over Waller Creek, adding a public plaza and adding five canopies over the new platform.

“We now are doing the things to make this a real robust rail line that can serve our community proudly in the years to come,” Capital Metro board Chairman Wade Cooper said.

In June through October, MetroRail service will stop at Plaza Saltillo to the east, and riders will take a shuttle to downtown. This closure will allow the contractor to build a temporary station east of the existing one. The Lance Armstrong Bikeway will also be rerouted to Fifth Street.

“We’re really doing this for customer and worker safety during this time,” said Ken Cartwright, Capital Metro’s vice president of capital projects.

Capital Metro also has construction underway to add double tracking near several stations—Lakeline, Howard, Crestview and east of Plaza Saltillo. That construction will wrap up this summer, according to Capital Metro. Work is still ongoing to implement the federally mandated positive train control measures that are designed to improve safety.

The expanded station will also allow Capital Metro to have a connection to the long-planned Green Line that would run east to Manor and Elgin.

“If the Green Line is built, we will have the opportunity in downtown to serve both lines,” Clarke said.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Amy Denney

Amy has been reporting in community journalism since 2007. She worked in the Chicago suburbs for three years before migrating south and joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2010. Amy has been editor of the Northwest Austin publication since August 2012 and she is also the transportation beat reporter for the Austin area.


MOST RECENT

Capital Metro station
All Capital Metro fares will be free throughout April

Beginning April 1, riders will not have to pay Capital Metro operators or use the farebox.

The first death from coronavirus was reported in Williamson County Saturday morning. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County reports first death related to coronavirus

First death attributed to coronavirus in Williamson County was a male in his 70s.

Pflugerville ISD will expand its curbside free meal pickup program and serve dinner for district families. (Courtesy Adobe Stock Images)
Pflugerville ISD expands free meal program, now offers dinner for curbside pickup

Pflugerville ISD will expand its curbside free meal pickup program and serve dinner for district families.

Turnstile Coffee Beer and Spirits
Will they or won’t they? Austin restaurants split on when to open during coronavirus pandemic

While some restaurants have bunkered down to open at later dates, some Austin restaurants are moving forward with service.

Despite heavy restrictions on public gatherings in place, sizable crowds gathered March 24 on the free side of Barton Springs pool, just hours before Austin's stay-at-home order went into effect. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Residents have reported 180 violations since Austin area's stay-at-home order went into effect

No penalties have been issued since the order went into effect March 25.

The business plans to produce 100 gallons of sanitizer over the next week. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Cedar Park brewery working to mix 100 gallons of sanitizer for Williamson County

The business plans to produce 100 gallons of sanitizer over the next week.

Austin Public Health officials confirmed the first death from the coronavirus in Travis County on March 27. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First Travis County resident dies from coronavirus

According to public health officials, the woman was in her 70s and had underlying health conditions.

Here is the latest news on stay-at-home orders across the Austin area

Find out if your locale is sheltering in place or what legal consequences the coronavirus is creating in the stories below.

While the agency is still tallying the number of unemployment insurance claims filed thus far in March, in the week prior to March 25, at least 150,000 claims had been filed. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Official: Increase in calls for statewide unemployment benefits is ‘almost vertical’

According to Serna, on an average day the Texas Workforce Commission’s four call centers statewide receive 13,000-14,000 calls; on March 22, the agency received 100,000 calls regarding unemployment insurance benefit inquiries.

Half of the Austin City Council called in remotely for their March 26 meeting, their first since strict social distancing measures went into effect. (Courtesy ATXN)
Austin economic relief efforts underway for renters, workers and small businesses following series of City Council approvals

Council members said the approvals represent only the start of coronavirus relief work coming from the city.

Pflugerville ISD
Pflugerville ISD to launch new districtwide online instruction programs March 30

On March 26, Pflugerville ISD announced some details of its upcoming remote learning program, which will include both online and offline instructional activities for children of all grade levels

Back to top