Long awaited plans to expand the train station on West Grand Avenue in Grover Beach continue to move forward, according to city officials.
After clearing out a homeless camp and derelict rail cars near the station, the city is slightly closer to breaking ground on the expansion, which will cost an estimated $2 million.
“I think we are at a stationary point right now,” said Jim Copsey, Grover Beach’s newly minted interim city manager.
The city first announced plans to revamp the train station, which was built in 1996, in February 2012. The project will be located on a 2.8-acre lot directly south of the station. Copsey said the city plans to expand the current Amtrak station, create additional parking, and allow the city to move its bus depot to the other side of the railroad tracks. Overall, the goal of the project is to create a multimodal hub in the city.
In order to facilitate the project, the city worked with law enforcement agencies to clear a large homeless camp on the south side the station in late January. That same month, the city asked the public for help convincing Union Pacific Railroad to move a little more than 100 empty train cars from the company’s tracks near the station. Union Pacific eventually moved the cars in late January.
However, there’s still a lot of work to be done before the city can break ground on the expansion. Copsey said the city is getting ready to send out a request for bids for an engineering consultant for the project. Because of the station’s location, the city is also working on securing agreements and leases from SLO County, the railroad, and other involved parties.
The city hopes to break ground on the project before the end of 2016, according to Copsey.